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   RE: Draft US gov't XML Developer's Guide

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Title: RE: Draft US gov't XML Developer's Guide


A couple of minor points -

        1) The Federal guide is being developed by a team headed by Marion Royal of GSA.  Marion is the Co-chair of the Federal CIO Council XML Working Group.

        2) The Federal guide was patterned after one already published by the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer. That guide was prepared by the DON XML Working Group (Chaired by Michael Jacobs) Technical subcommittee (chaired by Brian Hopkins), and continues to be refined.

        3) The EPA is also developing a guide that is being harmonized with the Federal Guide.

        3) In addition to the XML-Dev best practices, the Guides are drawing from work being conducted in various standards efforts to include the OASIS UBL TC, ebXML, UN/CEFACT eBTWG, and ANSI ASC X12.

        4) The Federal Guide is a first draft.  We will be refining the contents based on comments by members of the Federal CIO Council XML Working Group.  Others are certainly welcome, and members of this list are encouraged, to comment as well.  I routinely monitor this list, and will also accept direct submissions to me for consideration by the Team.

        5) Regarding the One Ring - Sometimes you need to prod the halfling to act in order to avoid chaos.

Mark Crawford
Research Fellow - XML Lead
Logistics Management Institute
2000 Corporate Ridge, McLean, VA 22102-7805
(703) 917-7177   Fax (703) 917-7518
Wireless (703) 655-4810
"Opportunity is what you make of it"

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Champion [mailto:mc@xegesis.org]
> Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2002 9:15 AM
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: Draft US gov't XML Developer's Guide
> I saw something particularly interesting on Robin
> COver's site:
> http://xml.coverpages.org/ni2002-01-16-a.html
> "An initial Draft Federal XML Developer's Guide
> has been published for review by the U.S. Federal
> CIO Council XML Working Group .. designed to assist
> government activities in developing XML implementations
> in the short term, while lessons learned are collected.
> It provides general development guidance for the many
> XML initiatives currently taking place within US Departments
> and Agencies."
> The draft text is at
> http://xml.coverpages.org/CIO-Council-XML-DeveloperGuidanceVer

The document is basically a "best practices" guide for XML
developers, and interesting in that respect alone. For example it

- Strongly favors W3C Recommendations, but allows use of draft
  specs and other organizations' specs if a justification
  can be made
- More or less forbids use of specs that compete with W3C
  technical work.
- Discourages use of proprietary extensions to specs
- Mandates use of the ISO 11179 naming convention
- Allows DTDs for document-centric work but notes a
  preference for W3C XSD
- Suggests separating information modeling from
  schema design
- Insists that schemas and stylesheets be commented
- Suggests a "header" metadata section in schemas
- Recommends that attributes be used only to define
  metadata applicable to the entire subtree of an element

This only skims the surface of course; the document is
103 pages long.

I'd definitely be interested in hearing others'
opinions on these guidelines, perhaps using it to
bootstrap the xml-dev Best Practices Guide we keep
talking about doing Real Soon Now.

They don't ask for free advice on these guidelines, but
maybe somone on this list is involved.  The only thing
I really don't like in this document is that rather
quaint belief that the W3C owns the One Ring to rule
them all ... Maybe my hope that the ISO is resurrecting
itself and will eventually debug and productize the
prototypes that come out of W3C Labs is even more quaint,
but I find it odd for the government to consider a
vendor consortium's Recommendations as more "standard"
than those of international standards bodies.


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