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Re: Regarding the vote on XML Schema.

Yes, I *fully* agree that work is more important than debate, let us get
the work done before we start debating as to what should be the standard.
But I think at least some members of this list are sceptical about why XML
Schema is in a proposed recommendation -- when everyone kind of agrees
that we still do not know sufficiently -- I wonder how many people
actually know about RELAX/TREX outside this group. I think I have
experienced in prominent XML research circles, people know nothing about
RELAX and TREX, and are not interested in any study on these approaches.

The question I think is what effect does XML Schema have on other efforts
-- I think almost everyone of us like to see XML schema's marketing not
subduing other efforts - I believe this is the greatest concern for most
people. Also, I believe everyone appreciates the work done by all the
concerned parties -- there are no winners or losers -- the goal is to move
towards the best solution, and every approach, correct or wrong, is a
forward step and adds to our knowledge and experience. Users will
ultimately adopt the solution which gives the most value to them -- but in
this case, are the users actually provided with this choice is the

I am not sure, but I think this probably cannot happen unless W3C honestly
announces something close to the effect that it is studying the approaches
by both the parties. Let us generate sufficient interest in the people to
study both the approaches, and let us finally make a decision. There could
be people like me who totally believe in the solution from RELAX/TREX,
there could be people who adopt the solution from XML Schema, but i think
this should be studied by sufficient people for some more time.

There might not be unanimity, but i think almost everyone is very
reasonable. But do we believe that the opposition to XML schema is merely
the unanimity problem a difficult specification faces?

I am not sure whether I am answering Rick's question straight -- but which
is a monolith -- RELAX or XML Schema? How many people have actually read
the entire XML Schema specification -- I am sorry but I think I find
sufficient number of typos to distinterest me even in the Primer draft.

<warning>speaking for himself only</warning>

cheers - murali.

On Tue, 24 Apr 2001, Rick Jelliffe wrote:

> From: Murali Mani <mani@CS.UCLA.EDU>
>  >There should be good reasons why two very
> >prolific mathematicians and XML practitioners such as James Clark and
> >Makoto Murata have decided not to adopt fully the solution proposed by XML
> >Schema
> Yes.  But why should anyone expect there to be unanimity?   Surely the big
> thing that we can learn from XML Schemas is that the expectation that we can
> have a single language--no matter how big or small, elegant or rich,
> feathered or porpoise-like--that is suitable for everyone is a fantasy.
> Which is why questions of whether we prefer ambiguous to unambigous
> grammars, or the Islamic calendar to the Gregorian calendar, should be dealt
> with _after_ we have built a suitable framework for modular but controllable
> schemas.  With a modular framework, the stakes are lower, we are not forced
> to make decisions on issues which have no single obvious winnner.
> Without modularity we are forced into an unpleasant world of winners and
> losers, depending on whether our application's needs are consonant with the
> ones weighed highly by the particular schema language developers.
> Merely saying "XML Schemas bad!  RELAX good!" keeps the cart before the
> horse.  If there is no modularity or ability to plug-n-play with different
> kinds of schema, then every little engineering trade-off has to be subjected
> to exhaustive discussion (as in XML Schemas) with no guarantee that the
> result will satisfy everyone.
> It is good to have a nice powerful, branded language that can support test
> suites and be reasoned about enough to allow efficient storage and querying.
> But does that require a monolith?
> Cheers
> Rick Jelliffe
> P.S. Just before RELAX and TREX, there was the excellent DSD [2] too.  It
> has many useful ideas.
> [1] http://www.liss.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/xml-dev-Dec-1999/0687.html
> [2] http://www.xmlhack.com/read.php?item=135
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