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   RE: [xml-dev] Document oriented experience reports anyone?

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+1 to what Ken is saying.   We are drowning in a sea of 
overlapping standards, vocabularies and initiatives. I've 
been challenging this in some OASIS lists because there 
seems to be not enough parsimony. 

"Let's harmonize!" 

Folks, counterpoint is harmony in passing.

For the schemas I've written:

o  XSD is overbuilt.  There are too many corner cases. 
o  XSD is used where object models will do a better job. 
   Possibly true of XML where it is used in lieu of a 
   programming language.
o  Unfocused or drifting requirements lead to bad XSD. 
   Uncertainty leads to abstraction 'just in case'.

I didn't find XSD hard to learn once I got past the 
element ELEMENT attribute ATTRIBUTE cognitive dissonance. 
Because of efforts here and on maintained web pages, a 
reasonable amount of common practice has emerged, but 
that doesn't make applications easy.  Some of the government 
led efforts have become ponderous and difficult 
to decipher.  Where these applications make reference to 
each other, it is exceedingly difficult.   Where application 
designers have adopted rules of thumb that were successful 
for another application but in the past or in an unrelated 
field, the consensus is reached but the vocabulary is DOA.
All of this makes the applications difficult to teach.

So one part of the problem is that it is a complex artifact. 
The second part is that standards practices themselves 
amplify that complexity.  The third part is that it takes 
a lot of practice to do simple things simply.

If we did it again, I'd ramp down the requirements, create 
DTD++ and come up with a combination of Relax NG and Schematron. 

The question though, not being answered here, is what part of 
the XML Schema success story is based on its use *INSIDE* 
applications such as Visual Studio where removing it now 
would be catastropic to owners and developers of that tool?


From: G. Ken Holman [mailto:gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com]

At 2005-06-08 18:25 +0100, Kirkham, Pete (UK) wrote:
>Rick Jelliffe wrote
> > Does "I know of almost no large uses of XSD for documents" count?
>+1 from my small corner of the defence industry.

-1 from a corner of the US Defense Industry where I'm obliged to use XSD 
for US intelligence documents using the IC-MSP schemas 
https://www.icmwg.org/ic_pub/introduction.asp ... this is becoming a very 
large use of XSD for documents as the project I'm on deploys an 
editing/publishing environment across a number of geographically-dispersed 
organizations.  I've proposed a case study paper at XML'2005 where I'll 
talk about this deployment and accommodating the document-oriented XSD with 
stylesheets in different organizations.

I would much rather be using RELAX-NG but the use of these schemas is 
imposed on the project.  The community is living without co-occurrence 
constraints, rather than living without XSD.

I don't really have anything to contribute to the W3C because my complaints 
beyond lack of co-occurrence constraints are along the lines of "too 
difficult to use" and "too difficult to understand" and "too difficult to 
teach to colleagues".  No metrics there to contribute to improvements.


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