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   Re: [xml-dev] RE: working with text (was RE: [xml-dev] XPath 1.5?)

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On Tue, 2002-05-07 at 12:25, Matthew Gertner wrote:
> > That's the problem.  I'm talking about representing information, which
> > is all that XML itself does.  As text, at that, quite explicitly. 
> > You're already on to processing.  Processing is a great 
> > topic, but very
> > different from representation.
> How is the XML useful if you're not processing it in some way (and don't
> tell me it makes great wallpaper :-)?

It's very useful because the representation doesn't _require_ you to
process it in a particular way.  The looseness of the representation (as
Uche pointed out earlier) is actually a benefit for exchanging XML among
diverse processing environments.

> Once again, is this a criticism of the whole notion of associating an XML
> document with a schema, or with XSD itself?

Probably the easiest place to focus the criticism is the notion of a
Post-Schema Validation Infoset.  If you just use XSD for validation,
you're only injuring yourself, and I won't complain to loudly.  If you
start defining XML specifications that operate on the PSVI, you're
injuring a lot more than yourself.

> The other day a friend of mine
> (experienced in XML document engineering) told me that "XSD has set back the
> cause of XML schema by five years." I'm starting to fear that this is the
> case. I am certainly not someone who is going to stand up to defend XSD.
> It's really terrible (despite the fact that the people who worked on it are
> all very intelligent, experienced and hardworking). At the same time, we
> *need* schemas if XML is to achieve anything near its potential.

Sure.  I tend to recommend RELAX NG and Schematron as useful tools for
making sure that markup meets expectations.

> I haven't even read the XPath 2.0 spec yet. It looked pretty scary coming
> out of the printer just now.

That's a separate matter, and not too easy to fix.

> But the tight integration of XSD with other
> specs, which frightens me, shouldn't be confused with the overall potential
> of XML schema to enable a whole new class of XML processing apps.

Perhaps.  At this point, I'm pretty thoroughly convinced that any effort
to apply strong typing to markup is in fact "a whole new class of XML
processing apps" - and one that shouldn't be confused with XML.

Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!


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