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Interesting, when I searched on Google yesterday for some insights into
inheritance in XML, the most comprehensive discussion that I came across was
from this very list and dated (gasp!) April 1998. Plus ca change... I
started reading with a mail from yours truly
followed the thread down. There's a lot of very detailed commentary about
Architectural Forms from people whose knowledge of the topic is orders of
magnitude more complete than mine will ever be (God willing :-).
I believe that you are correct that AFs can handle the kind of polymorphic
behavior that I have been talking about. There are two problems with this:
1) AFs take SGML as gospel and so try to squeeze new features into it with a
lot of extremely clever but somewhat arcane hacks, making the whole thing a
kludgy and hard to understand.
2) To get the benefit of AFs you need an AF-aware processor, and I'm not
aware of such a beast being available to the XML-using masses (but I suspect
that someone will enlighten me).
> >...I feel that polymorphic behavior of XML documents would
> > be an extremely valuable thing. I'd happily justify this
> statement if anyone
> > is interested, but not in this post since it is already way
> too long.
> Isn't polymorphic behaviour from a single XML document actually
> Architectural Forms?
> i.e. one can view the document from multiple processing perspectives
> by selecting the appropriate architectural form and
> associated architectural
> After the last discussion on AFs, I was left with the conclusion that
> one could address some (all?) of the type derivation requirements of
> XSD using an Architectural Forms based approach. Or more to put
> this another way, that AFs facilitate variations in schemas but still
> provide a validatable core.
> Unfortunately I've just not had the time to either fully test
> this idea,
> or more formally write up that same discussion.
> L. (lacking in tuits of whatever shape)
> Leigh Dodds, Research Group, Ingenta | "Pluralitas non est ponenda
> http://weblogs.userland.com/eclectic | sine necessitate"
> http://www.xml.com/pub/xmldeviant | -- William of Ockham