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   RE: [xml-dev] XQuery and DTD/Schema?

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7/3/2002 9:16:31 PM, "Derek Denny-Brown" <derekdb@microsoft.com> wrote:

>I'm not trying to parade a company line, and am one of the people 'round
>here who have held that WXS has some serious problems, and RELAX-NG has
>some good insights.  I just try to be a practical person, and experience
>has taught me that the elegant is not always the winner. 

That was a great, very informative post, and it's good to hear what people are doing with WXS in the 
real world and the challenges they face.  Nevertheless, it serves to confirm my conception that WXS 
is most suited for "object-centric" situations where the XML is merely a convenient serialization 
format.  Sure that's an important use case, and I'm glad that XML has proven useful there.

Still, that's *not* the usage scenario that many of us old-timers have used SGML and XML for, and is 
as unsuitable for many of our purposes as DTDs are to yours.  This is only a problem if one considers 
WXS as *the* schema language rather than as *a* schema language designed for and optimized for 
representing and exchanging serialized objects (or rigidly defined databases).  The issue becomes so 
salient, and generates so much traffic here, because XQuery appears to have bought into the "XML as 
serialized objects" view to the exclusion of the document-centric / loosely coupled / weakly-typed 
approach.  Worse, it's painful to watch and wait for the basic, elegant features of XQuery while the 
poor folks on the WG wrestle with the same WXS issues that Derek's developers seem to be wrestling 

Other than Uche "strong typing is evil" Ogbuji (who was kidding!)  nobody is saying that people who 
need what WxS offers shouldnt't have it available. They're just saying that it shouldn't be at the 
"core" level of XML and the standard schema and query languages, and thus inflicted on everyone.

Speaking of evil <grin> it is *awfully* easy to form conspiracy theories for how this situation came 
about and why it is SO true that "the elegant is not always the winner".  If XML is too hard to work 
with without GUIs and wizards, and it touted as a low-level serialization format that ordinary 
developers shouldn't have to dirty their pretty little hands with, who benefits?   Now I know 
perfectly well that y'all don't get secret memos from Steve Ballmer or Larry Ellison saying "go ye 
forth and produce monumental complexity, what's bad for those old-time XML geeks is good for our 
stock price."  Nevertheless, try looking at the world from the perspective of those who do NOT 
benefit from specs that are too complex to fully implement without massive resources and require lots 
of coordination with the old boys network to figure out how to really make them interoperate.  You'd 
probably find yourself as depressed and angry as many of the frequent posters in this perma-thread.



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