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   Negotiate Out The Noise: (Was RE: SV: SV: [xml-dev] XML=WAP? And DOA?)

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Of course to turn this on it's head, (the XML As
Complex System and the XML=WAP threads are converging), 
we should step back as posters have hinted and 
ask, if XML is not self-describing (really, 
what does an XML instance say about its application 
semantics), how should we be doing that?

Some current candidates:

1.  Laissez-faire:  send only the message.  You 
have an agreement or trust the other guy's process. 
You might augment this with a checking service, 
say one that goes out and compares prices to ensure 
the other guy is giving you the best deal (time-sensitive).

2.  Schema/DTD travels with message.  That is the 
SGML Way.  It works if you want ultimate one-connect 
shopping.  It seems to be a big part of some implementations. 
Best applied, IMO, to infrequent but noise-critical 
communications.  You send the test because you 
absolutely want the receiver to understand this 

3.  Ask the Web:  use RDF or some other expert system 
what is needed.  Isn't this sort of a dictionary?  It 
works as long as you own or accept the ontology of 
others.  This is Trust and Verify.  Advantages?

4.  Send the code.  Java folks like that.  This 
is the ultimate, Trust Me, I Own The Process 
approach.  Augmented with a way to export the 
information on request, it is easy for end users 
despite any problems of performance, proprietary 
languages, etc.


If we say that meaning is discoverable, we play 
right into the web services paradigm as I understand it. 
Get only as much semantic as we recognize easily, negotiate 
the rest, then document the negotiation results and hold 
the communication process to those results.  That this 
is still in the main, contract-based document processing
shouldn't disenchant or disappoint.  Humans have worked 
like this for a very long time very successfully and 
all this paradigm does is amplify that and take out 
some noise.   Given that organizations are competent 
at creating their own definitions, the requirement for 
standard schemata isn't critical, although it saves a 
lot of work and things go quickly.  That is pretty 
much all any SGML project from CALS or even the old 
GenCode and GML projects promised anyway.



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