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   Gold Standard Schema Parser was Re: [xml-dev] XML Schema Question

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On Tue, 25 Nov 2003, Henry S. Thompson wrote:

> Thanks for your endorsement, but XSV is not the gold standard -- as
> the status page [1] makes clear, there are implementation gaps and
> known bugs, to say nothing of unknown bugs.

Please forgive me if this sounds like a 'rant'.  Are there any 'gold
standard schema parsers?  I am seeing history repeating itself.  In
the 'old days' of SGML there were some good parsers and there were
some very bad parsers.  However, if you could trust James Clark's NSGMLS.
If a DTD parsed using NSGMLS you could feel confident that the schema
was right.

I haven't found a schema parser yet that provides me the confidence that a
schema has been developed correctly.  I am finding that portability in
schema is an oxymoron!!!  The schema may parse with XML Spy but will not
parse with XSV and XML::SchemaValidator or XMetaL parser, etc.  On rare
occasions if you are very simplistic in your schema design you may get 2
to agree but never 3.  (And don't get me started on namespaces and 

In dusting off my presentation for XML 2003 I have a slide that
explains why we needed XML and the problems with SGML.  This
slide is very old (at least 6 years):

  SGML Problems

. High initial investment 
. Complexity 
. Too many options/features 
. Vendors supported a subset of features 
. Applications weren't portable because of various feature sets 
. Lack of intuitive end-user software 
    Fear of "pointy brackets" (<>) 

As I read this list and after my experiences with XML Schema - I ask
myself where are we?  About the only thing I think we can take off of the
list above is the "Fear of 'pointy brackets'" and that is a result of
HTML, not XML.

Here are my questions:

So where is the "Mother of All Schema Parsers"?  

What schema parser can we trust?

Are the differences in the parsers because of the complexity
   of the Schema spec?

Are the differences in the parsers because of ambiguities in
   the schema spec?

Most important -

How can XML implementers use schema in a multi-tool environment?


Betty Harvey, XML Professional       | Phone: 410-787-9200 FAX: 9830 
Electronic Commerce Connection, Inc. |        
harvey@eccnet.com                    | Washington,DC XML Users Grp
URL:  http://www.eccnet.com          | http://www.eccnet.com/xmlug


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