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   Getting specs/standards right (was UPA and schema handling)

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  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Subject: Getting specs/standards right (was UPA and schema handling)
  • From: Michael Champion <michaelc.champion@gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 08:54:34 -0400
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  • Reply-to: Michael Champion <michaelc.champion@gmail.com>

On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 10:24:23 +0100, Michael Kay
<michael.h.kay@ntlworld.com> wrote:

> Only if its work is confined to giving a yes/no answer to the validity
> question.
> If the work is to associate types with individual element instances, then
> UPA is rather important.

Once again, what is a critical use case in the "data" world is an
annoying hinderance to getting work done in the 'document ' world :-) 
(and vice-versa, I'm not taking sides!).

It's hard for me to get morally outraged at XMLSpy for ignoring or
creatively interpreting a *recommendation* in a way that fits their
experience and their understanding of their paying customers' needs. 
If XML Schema were a *standard* in the accepted sense, this would be
unacceptable, of course -- I don't want electrical equipment
manufacturers "creatively interpreting" the relevant ISO standards to
accomodate their understanding of my price vs safety tradeoff. But
Schema is something designed by a committee that reflects their
collective best guess, it doesn't embody the kinds of real science and
engineering experience that went into the ISO standards for electrical
transmission equipment.

There seem to be two different ways forward:
- Moving XML recommendations toward true standards status, presumably
clarifying and refactoring them to reflect actual experience over the
last few years, and developing rigorous conformance tests.

- Accepting that they are indeed recommendations from joint design
efforts; creative interpretation and ad-hoc profiling are part of the
process necessary to build the base of experience upon which real
standardization can build, someday.

I can live with either, and IMHO different XML specs need different
approaches.  I don't believe the intermediate situation that we're in
now is viable, where somewhat loosely-written and/or unproven specs
are treated as if they were standards by some, but as if they were
informal recommendations by others.


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