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RE: Schemas and Semantics (was: A Personal Reply...)
- From: Matthew Gertner <email@example.com>
- To: 'Gavin Thomas Nicol' <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
- Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 11:59:24 +0100
I generally agree with Rick's comments on this. To make this clear, my
answer to your question is a strong no. If element type "foo" has specific
semantics (and it always does IMO), this doesn't mean that these semantics
are obvious from the instance. Some examples:
1) "foo" should be displayed as a long text field when represented in a web
2) The possible values of "foo" are contained in column X of table Y of
3) "foo" in schema X maps to "bar" in schema Y.
4) When foo is changed, a mail should be sent to "firstname.lastname@example.org".
5) "foo" is described in prose as "...whatever...".
All of these things tell us useful information about the meaning of "foo".
None of them can be deduced directly from the instance. BTW: For things like
2) Rick's Schematron is supercool. Combining Schematron with SAF is one of
the most promising approaches to representing formalized semantics that I
have seen, certainly more promising than RDF and the like (more flame bait,
I must be on a roll...).
Another BTW: My question wasn't meant to be facetious or rhetorical.
Obviously there is a strong feeling out there that element types can be
ambiguous. Is there a real-world example of this that I can sink my teeth
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gavin Thomas Nicol [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2001 3:51 AM
> To: Matthew Gertner; firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: RE: Schemas and Semantics (was: A Personal Reply...)
> > a) I still don't believe that there is even one noncontrived
> > example where an element in an instance truly has ambiguous
> > semantics.
> In which case one wouldn't need schemas, right? After all, the
> instance defines the semantics, right?