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Yes, I agree with you, it does seems like a dumb question. The premise
behind it doesn't even make any sense. E-business standards - nay, most
standards - require some rigidity (i.e., lack of flexibility) in order
to be usable and interoperable. If the company's "previous attempt
failed, as it required a unique implementation for each pair of trading
partners," it would seem that *less* flexibility (of a fashion) is
needed - rather than more - so everyone is singing from the same hymnal!
Parenthetically, it's interesting that the questioner has managed to
gratuitously slander EDI.
As an example, consider my recent answer to David Lyon re: currency
codes. Nobody's going to claim that there's much flexibility within ISO
4217 for describing an Albanian Lek or a United States Dollar. They
have to be ALL or USD, resp., no ifs, ands or buts. There you have it:
interoperability is traded off against "flexibility."
William J. Kammerer
Columbus, OH 43221-3859 . USA
+1 (614) 487-0320
----- Original Message -----
From: "Razvan MIHAIU" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, 27 February, 2005 02:59 PM
Subject: [xml-dev] Quiz: XML flexibility
In an XML quiz I found the following question:
A company wants to develop an EDI system, which will help it to
integrate with its various trading partners (suppliers and clients).
Their previous attempt failed, as it required a unique implementation
for each pair of trading partners. Now they want to explore the
capabilities of XML to make this system efficient.
The company wants to keep the structure of XML documents flexible and
open to future changes. Which of the following is most likely implied by
this requirement ?
A. XML Schema;
B. mixed content model;
C. XSL stylesheets;
D. validating parser;
Correct answer: B
My choice: A
Isn't this a dumb question ? I mean if you choose A you can certainly
use mixed content model with XML Schema, so answer A and B are not
What I am really trying to understand is "what is flexibility" ? In any
XML document you can add elements and attributes at will if you update
the associated schema. Old applications would just ignore the new
elements and attributes, so "flexibility" is build-in into XML. So, what
are you doing when you want to design a flexible XML document ?
Can somebody give me an example of an XML document that is *not*
flexible as opposed to one that it is ?