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   Re: [xml-dev] ANN: Regular Associations

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> I don't mean to be too negative. Your idea is very elegance. And, of 
> course, you have written a fast parser to implement it with. But I feel 

To say the truth, I've written a Relax NG validator. The parser is Expat.
And, thanks to the derivative (http://www.thaiopensource.com/relaxng/derivative.html)
approach, validation is faster than parsing.

> Your proposal, like Clark's, invites the user to add rules over time, 
> which can build up like cholesterol until one fine day it takes 10 
> seconds to open a file and nobody understands why. ;-}

Right. Let the system spend 10 seconds to open a huge file with cryptic name
for the first time. It will then be added to the table (the exact name). If 
I need that many rules to determine the file's type, then my brain would have to do
the same job. And slower. In fact, with early cutoff employed, I hardly imagine
this possibility. 

And with all validation patterns processed concurrently, the validation would stop
as soon as one  of them finds the 'any' pattern; or when all failed. Thus it will
not take much longer than the slowest single pattern.

> Stepping away for the performance issue, it still occurs to me that you 
> or Clark haven't made life as easy as it is for W3 XML Schema users in 
> some tools, where they can just specify a list of (namespace, schema 
> location) pairs - outside the documents, of course - and those will be 
> used not just to validate the start element of the document but any 
> elements in the document or schemas that bear one of the namespaces. One 
> could do it with Clark's by specifying that a rule invoked a NRL 
> "schema", but that's a whole lot of baggage for something that should be 
> simpler and more approachable.

This is a completely different problem, but do you mean that XML Schema validation
is simpler and more approachable than NRL+Relax NG? Are you aware of any 
conformant XML Schema implementation? Conformant enough to either confirm
that "." (that is, single decimal point) is a legal decimal, or force the WG
to fix the spec?

Don't get me wrong. I don't think that a simply-looking approach in a framework
that does not work is better than a simple by design approach that is implemented.

David Tolpin


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