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You're arguing from the corner, Mike, and it isn't convincing.
One can always make a tag soup work in a closed application.
The problem is across applications, the kinds of things that
arch forms were originally proposed for. Note that I am
saying "for any given problem in every case". In other
words, the concept of complete self-describing types
begins to break down if these types have to integrate
with more than one application. IOW, the concepts that
lead to the namespaces solutions only cover a subset of the
problems they are proposed for. Then they begin to
Identity is a good one to look at. A
thing has identity in and of itself, but once there
is more than one item, identity can only be derived,
that is, is emergent by process of identification.
That is why in one spec, identity is a native
property and in others, is described by the
term "identification". Newcomb brought this
up in a private email concerning topic maps
and merging issues. I quite agree with Steve.
From: Mike Champion [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
9/27/2002 1:51:54 PM, "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <email@example.com> wrote:
>I am beginning to believe that attempting to work
>with self-descriptive systems for any given problem
>in every case is a non-starter. Well-formedness
>simply isn't enough for interoperability; portability,
>yes, but not interoperability.
I'm not sure if I want to touch this mess, but RSS might
be considered a counter-example. Sheesh, the weblog syndicators
don't even seem to care much about well-formedness, just enough
syntax constraint to point everyone in more or less the same
direction. Still, NewsIsFree.com and a whole bunch of other
aggregators manage to do a decent job of extracting a reasonable
amount of meat from the tag soup.
This is, admittedly a REAL simple use case (they only look for
a small number of tags in a very flat XML hierarchy) but seems
to at least minimally prove the concept that well-formed XML
is more than a "non-starter." Getting those folks to agree
on a common schema is EMPRICALLY a non-starter :-)
(Apologies to Eric and others who have labored in that vineyard!).