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In one session I chaired at XML 2004, I asked attendees to
hold up their hands if they thought that RELAX NG
should be used in cases where Schema is now
required. In a room of about 40 people, 5
raised their hands. I've no beef against
XSD, and I've written a DTD or two in my day, but
this situation where the W3C and certain very
large unnamed vendors ignore RELAX isn't right.
OTOH, based on that admittedly off the cuff
poll (god knows some might have thought I
was asking if they preferred LSD to relaxing),
it seems not enough users know about RELAX NG
or appreciate the merits.
That should change. I have a suspicion that
it is the current trendiness of ontologies
etc. that is drowning out the RELAX opportunity.
We need to do a better job educating our fellows
about the differences among these kinds of
technologies, and make some noise in Redmond and
elsewhere that RELAX is clearly the easier path
for a very large intersection of needs.
I can't make up my mind about Topic Maps vs RDF or
if that is even an issue. Steve Pepper's presentation
and the Ontopia tool made me a believer in that
combination, that is, one can with a little practice,
make a super useful model and document with Topic
Maps. I've no experience with RDF. I am told the
Protege tool is fantastic. I have to get my head
around this one better.
I do think that the HLS Beltway experts should be
working hard to get the priorities right. Some
things I saw gave me pause to worry a bit that
we may be putting a lot of noise into the consultancy
food chain. This will become RFP fodder that is a
little too close to the edge to implement given the
current state of tools, technologies and standards.
Given the mission, we should take extra care not to
oversell the capabilities of our technologies, or to
underplay the expense of implementing them in real