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   RE: [xml-dev] syntax, model

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> mc@xegesis.org (Mike Champion) writes:
> >The best is the enemy of the good.
> In the case of DOM, the twisted semi-generic mess was the enemy of the
> useful.
> Nor does that epigram push strongly against my conclusion, which
> includes a range - the further you get from the syntax, the deeper the
> poison runs.

The epigram's ok as far as it goes, but I disagree with the poison tasting.
The cases mentioned (XPath etc) do suggest that distance from syntax is
proportional to toxicity, *but* all these cases have one-size-fits-all
semantics. Closer to the syntax (as in DOM), the model and a particular
(abstract) syntax are tightly bound, even equivalent.

But meaningful communication depends on some level of shared semantics. So
ideally we should perhaps be looking at looser coupling between syntax and
semantics. It shouldn't be necessary to buy into a whole package of meaning
(a company's invoice structure) but be able to map selectively between local
models in a global environment, choosing the syntax that best fits. The use
of purpose-specific XML languages has an implicit alignment to the
single-model approach, and that I think is where the problem lies. The model
is the baby, the syntax merely the bathwater.

I personally think using an uber-framework about syntax and
business-specific models is the only way around this, and the RDF/OWL
approach seems a very good candidate.



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