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RE: breaking up?

On 06 Aug 2001 15:25:49 +0100, Leigh Dodds wrote:
> > Sort of a document-says-it-all vs. infoset-says-it-all breakdown,
> > complicated by other divides (document/data, object/RDBMS/document,
> > etc.).
> Are you suggesting that these are orthogonal divides? I'm not sure 
> that they are, and wonder whether document vs. infoset is actually 
> document vs. data, just in a slightly different guise.

I used to think that data folks gravitated toward the Infoset, but it
doesn't seem to be that simple.  I've talked with a few too many data
people who find the layers built on top of XML 1.0 to be excessively
complex to believe that statement works generally any more.  (I also
know some document people who are very fond of the Infoset view of the
universe, though not necessarily the PSVI.)

Among data people, there seemed to be two main concerns:

In some of the cases they were shuttling information between dissimilar
systems with wildly varying levels of support for schemas of any flavor,
and found that their expectations based on the stories of what schema
will do were just plain wrong. (I wrote some of those stories myself, of

In other cases they found that it was easier for them to use XML purely
as a transfer syntax for labelled content, preferring their own
validation and semantics mechanisms.  Sometimes they had lots of
constraints which weren't easily expressed (except perhaps by
Schematron, though some were just plain mathematically difficult), while
other times they had constraints they didn't want explicitly published.
Some just didn't like any of the options they had.

I've also talked with people who think that XML is great as a
data-exchange syntax but that all of the processing beyond that simple
syntax should be done with domain-specific tools, or UML, or similar
non-XML systems.  They didn't seem to find UML any harder to share or
use than W3C XML Schema for this work.

> Exposing these different approaching is a useful exercise, if 
> for no other reason that illuminating the viewpoints and pre-conceptions 
> of the folk taking part in the debates.

Sure.  I'd love to hear from more people directly about their
experiences with such things.  I find that I hear stories of reality
when I attend conferences, but that discussions here are more abstract.
That may have something to do with people conversing more comfortably
and casually in bars, but it makes it difficult to hold discussions

I'm also well-aware that 'simpletons' tend to tell me stories I might
not hear if I wasn't a well-known 'simpleton'.  Similarly, I suspect
that people who genuinely love W3C XML Schema aren't as likely to tell
_me_ their success stories.  A lot of factors make it difficult to know
how people really use (and want to use) XML.

Simon St.Laurent