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   Re: [xml-dev] Syntax vs semantics

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Linda Grimaldi wrote:
> Once again, I am confused. I like the nice, clean distinction offered
> by another list member- XSD for syntax, RDF and its related standards
> for semantics. But then there are things like element substitution and,
> effectively, subclassing, in XSD that strike me as much too closely
> resembling semantics. Seems to me those kind of things should be handled
> via RDFS/OWL, not XSD.

XSD is for XML in general. RDFS/OWL is for RDF in particular. I believe 
that the right tool depends on the type of data you are trying to 
validate. I would not usually use XSD for RDF data because it isn't 
really optimized for data using RDF's conventions. Further: if you are 
in the RDF world then your software works with RDF triples, not syntax, 
so what does it care whether the syntax meets some pattern or another. 
If it doesn't care, why express restrictions on that syntax?

And of course it is not directly feasible to apply RDFS/OWL to XML data 
that does not use those conventions.

But if you really do want to combine two (or more) schema languages, 
RELAX NG sticks more closely to a "pure syntax" view of XML validation 
than does XSD. So the boundary would be clearer. This might be useful if 
you had two different classes of software looking at the same data, some 
looking at the syntax and some working with the RDF triples.

  Paul Prescod


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