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> ...The question remains whether AFs can provide all the
> flexibility we need to support any kind of schema evolution. The situation
> in which some legacy code needs <firstname> first, then <lastname>, and a
> new document in which those elements are in reverse order cannot be handled
> by AFs, for example.
Well thats one question. I'd suggest that another might be "can AFs provide
all the flexibility we need for the kinds of schema evolution that we see (or
will see) in practice"?
I don't have the answer, just want to make the point that there are inevitably
going to be special cases -- and engineers are great at finding those -- but
if a technology delivers 80%+ of the functionality it shouldn't be thrown out
without question. Don't design for the special cases, IOW.
Relying on document ordering for elements seems like a fragile way of building