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Razvan, so I guess we just have to parse every word of the question in
order to pull out every conceivable nuance - and use the process of
elimination, as we often have to do with multiple choice quizzes.
Discard the first paragraph - the bit about failing with EDI, as I don't
think it adds a bit of information - and just look at the salient XML
question: "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 ?"
It's talking about *documents* and keeping them flexible. Even if XML
Schema didn't exist - and maybe all you had were DTDs... or even no
DTDs - that wouldn't mean of hill of beans difference to the
"flexibility" of the XML *document*. As long as your XML document
remains well-formed, its structure can be "flexed" all you want. So,
that rules out XML schema (Answer A). And without schemas or DTDs,
that rules out Answer D, too: validating parser (which requires a DTD
So, we're left with B. "mixed content model" and C. "XSL stylesheets."
But "XSL stylesheets" sounds too suspiciously redolent of a particular
specification or technology. There are certainly other transformation
languages, aren't there? That might make C "XSL stylesheets" an
unsuitable answer, leaving only B, "mixed content model." We just have
to make sure "mixed content model" satisfies "flexibility."
And thinking about it, applying the "mixed content model" to XML
documents does work (for flexibility). You can't predict ahead of time
how data is to be organized, even if you do know you have to send it.
Say you are required to share an address with a supplier. The natural
inclination would be to send "398 Maple St." as one of the elements,
<Address>, in the XML document. A German might send "Karl-Marx-Straße
73". Right away, we see that we could have problems in the future if
individual components have to be broken out from the simple text string
comprising <Address>. By introducing a mixed content model, you know
you can always break out the street number into its own separate element
as a child of <Address>; e.g.,
and so on. Voilà, flexibility.
William J. Kammerer
Columbus, OH 43221-3859 . USA
+1 (614) 487-0320
----- Original Message -----
From: "Razvan MIHAIU" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "G. Ken Holman" <gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com>
Sent: Sunday, 27 February, 2005 05:05 PM
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Quiz: XML flexibility
>> In an XML quiz I found the following question:
>> Isn't this a dumb question ?
> I remember when questions like this came up for certification exams
> and boot
camps in the "early days" of XML. I swear the boot camp coached the
to come up with the particular answers for the particular certification
Questions like this are asked *today* in an XML certification exam
like IBM 141.
This is why I am worried about this exam: on many occasions I found out
that the question's text did not provide enough information. In such
situations you just have to try to guess what the exam writer was
thinking and as a result you are guessing the answer too.