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RE: When To Use Schemas (Was RE: infinite depth to namespaces)
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <email@example.com>
- To: "John E. Simpson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
- Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 08:29:12 -0500
I can agree with that. Teach well-formed first. The
issues start because of the different backgrounds. The
comment from a VP here who has preached "declarative
only" for years when shown XML Schemas was "Why bother?
They don't do enough." The relational expert reduced
all his files to two level trees with tablenames and
column elements then wanted to know how to make sure
all the characters made it into the text content, say,
text elements that contain ALL whitespace.
As soon as one is out of well-formed, the fight
starts in earnest.
Oddly enough, the writers look at the DTD or schema
and say, "a validator; good" and go right to using
All of the above look at XSLT and say, "too hard!!"
Those that get past that say, "hmmm... powerful stuff"
except for the PERL and sed hackers who say, "too
verbose" and "did this already and it was easier".
I'd say, honestly and sincerely, that complexity
scales to the ambitions of the user. I see it in
animation where one accepts it is demanding craft
or declares it "uncompelling" because it can't be
done by a teenager who just learned HTML.
It's easy to make an orbiting solar system with
some spheres, a background, a few interpolators
and some material nodes although one might have
to think about how to nest the coordinate systems.
On the other hand, you can't create Shrek without
starting with triangles and code and hiring
300 highly paid specialists for three years.
Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h
From: John E. Simpson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2001 6:53 PM
Subject: Re: When To Use Schemas (Was RE: infinite depth to namespaces)
At 09:26 AM 09/03/2001 +1000, Marcus Carr wrote:
>...Given the question though (I'm designing my own simple XML
>vocabulary, but I don't understand either DTDs or XML Schema. What can I
>do?), I don't think that validation necessarily even enters the
>equation. A DTD is a very useful aid to designing and maintaining an XML
>vocabulary, regardless of whether it is subsequently used for
>validation. Perhaps John should have asked himself a slightly different
:) In my own defense, what I was really going on about there wasn't
validation per se, the general usefulness of DTDs/schemata, and so on. It
was the relentless focus on them -- as though it's impossible to do
anything at all useful without them. ("The focus on DTDs and XML Schema as
the hallmark of so-called real XML has done more to damage XML's widespread
use and popularity [etc.]...") They're extremely useful tools once you've
got the basics nailed down, but can be a stumbling block en route to that
Not wanting to drift off into pedagogical theory or anything, but it's
generally a question of deductive vs. inductive learning. Teach someone
well-formed first, and teaching them valid later will be a piece of cake
(especially when they ask the question themselves: "How do I assert that
structure/datatype X is *required*?"). Make them learn valid first and
you'll postpone their doing *anything*. It's like forcing them to attend
the first half-dozen sessions of a course in Java or C++ before showing
them the "Hello world!" exercise.
Mostly I just wanted a question that would trigger some righteous
indignation in me... even if the hypothetical newbie didn't get her actual
question answered in the process!
John E. Simpson | "I saw a sign: 'Rest Area 25 Miles'. That's
http://www.flixml.org | pretty big. Some people must be really tired."
XML Q&A: www.xml.com | (Steven Wright)
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