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   RE: XML Schemas: Best Practices

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  • From: "Hodder, Ed" <Ed.Hodder@Bowne.com>
  • To: "'Roger L. Costello'" <costello@mitre.org>,"XML-Dev (E-mail)" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 10:43:10 -0500

Did some reading yesterday and am catching up a little. This is fascinating

> From: Roger L. Costello:
> I believe we should strive for common semantics within 
> particular domains, and at points where domains intersect.  

I'm going to back off my knee-jerk skepticism and agree providing that the
universe of discourse of domains can somehow remain flexible. Maybe I've had
my head in a box for too long but the one thing that concerns me, more than
is it actually doable, is the possible recursive effect this could have on
spoken and written language. With business practices standards seems to make
great sense. But 'standards leak' into the 'real world' give me the willies.
If the XML-Semantic-Web actually is the biggest thing since the printing
press there should be a great effort to approximate natural language rules
rather than imposing possibly artificial and limited standards. I think. My
head is spinning.
> This particular example would be handled with namespaces to eliminate 
> the confusion the simple tag 'title' would invoke.

I intuitively like the namespace idea better than possible annotating schema
elements to provide context (http://www.xfront.com/BestPractices.html#6). It
seems like instance documents would tend to contain data encapsulated by a
particular domain so declaring a default namespace to provide context for
the document is the easiest solution.

> . . . I also believe that within the domain "sports 
> championship" the tag 'title' should have a common semantic meaning.

So on the instance document side of things creators should make sure an
instance document contains enough information to place its content in the
correct domain once domains are agreed upon. Or would an application that
sees a title instance document on www.espn.com understand it as a sports
championship title? The document is intended for a sports audience so the
likely meaning of title is championship. Title elements in other documents
within this domain may also mean name of something or honorific but not
likely ownership. It's a messy world. Some combination of these and other
Have you seen any work done on yet on what a domain is? Not how it will
describe meaning within its own context but what that context actually is?
Is anyone trying to carve up the world at this point?



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