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Both Perry and Thomas understood what I was trying to say and issues they
point are tangible. But I don't think all of what I am thinking has been
communicated, so allow me to try again from another angle.
A schema is a formal description of an XML document. In a sense, the schema
is a representation of the code that produced that XML document. But there
is no similar representation of the code that consumes those XML documents.
Such representation will be useful for:
1. documenting which parts of an XML document a program depends on.
2. detecting when a program can't process a document.
3. automatically fix useful subset of possible differences.
For example, there are many versions of RSS format, but a RSS reader that
uses only the <description> element can handle RSS feeds in any RSS format.
But there is easy way to determine this without some smart code analyzer.
Having a schema representation of the parts the RSS reader is interested in
will be pretty useful. Unfortunately, I don't think current schema
languages support this use-case well.