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   Re: XML Schemas: Best Practices

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  • From: "Roger L. Costello" <costello@mitre.org>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 08:23:43 -0500

"Michael W. Ripley" wrote:
> IMHO, application specific semantics
> are what keep getting us in trouble with regards to data
> interoperability.  Hence the drive for ontologies, common data
> environments, standardized database schemas, common data models, etc.
> What should be a Best Practice?  I'm in strong favor of universal
> semantics.  It's very difficult to implement, but it's what we should
> try to do.

Mike presents a strong argument in favor of creating elements with the
same semantics, regardless of the application that uses them (he calls
this "universal semantics").  He argues, for example, that if I create
an element <car> then it should have the same semantics in all

Other people, on the other hand, have argued that an element declaration
merely is a syntactic representation and each application should be able
to apply application-specific semantics.  This ability for an element to
change semantics with each application that uses it is one of the
advantages that we have listed for Chameleon components.

What do you think?  When you create a schema component should that
component be expected to have the same semantics regardless of the
application that uses it, i.e., universal semantics?  Or, should the
component be able to "semantic-morph" to each application, i.e.,
localized semantics?



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