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   Re: [xml-dev] RDDL and user interface

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Leigh Dodds wrote:

>>When an app that works with extensible XML encounters elements
>>from an unrecognized namespace, how does it know how display and
>>edit them?  I think it should be able to download and plugin a
>>user interface at runtime.  
>Sounds reasonable to me. The XSmiles browser (Java) handles 
>multi-namespace documents. It might be useful to investigate what 
>infrastructure they're using to dispatch handling of elements based 
>on namespace.
>>The UI could be a collection of
>>resources made for elements in this namespace, including XSL
>>stylesheets to transform an element into XHTML and XForms for
>>creating them.  Would this be something appropriate to include
>>in an RDDL document?
>Yes. Mappings to and from other similar languages are another 
>useful thing to include. That way a processor could look up the 
>newly encountered namespace and then find transformations 
>that can turn it into something it can process. This might involve 
>traversing RDDL documents.
This is potentially a very powerful idea. The extensibility of 
XML+namespaces is pretty intangible - it's like calling a bucket 
extensible because you can put anything in it. RDF/XML offers more 
realizable extensibility thanks to the model behind the syntax providing 
at least partial understanding. But to enable full understanding in a 
pluggable fashion - that'd be pretty cool.

For a UI there is already XUL which on platforms that support it (i.e. 
Mozilla) could provide such dynamic configuration of interpretation on 
the basis of a URI (the namespace).

RDDL would appear to provide a large part of what's needed, although 
'purpose' will need further qualification to map between the application 
and the desired processing. What a browser does with an  XXXML file may 
differ from what a syndication pipeline might do. In each case the 
processing may also vary according to the context in which the data is 
encountered. A mimetype-style grouping of purposes might be one 
approach, but I suppose the easiest would be keep such information at 
the client end, so once given the purpose it can figure out what to do 
for itself.




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