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

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Hello All,

I've been working on DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) XML 
Schemas internally at IBM for a number years and with DITA TC since it 
inception.  Although, DTDs are still very much the norm in the 
documentation world, DITA has had an XML Schema version for a few years. 
The XML editor Syntext Serna has made use of those schemas for couple of 

I've had my share of frustrations trying to implement the DITA 
architecture using XML Schemas.  Most issues will be addressed in the 
XML Schema 1.1 specification. 
The main issue that remains unsolved from an architectural standpoint is 
the inability to rename/alias elements in a specific content model while 
making use of the inheritance model.  Basically, being able to use the 
something like the substitutioGroup mechanism in a local context.  With 
respect to inheritance, DITA cannot make full use of the XML Schema 
inheritance model.  DITA is still fully represented in XML Schema 
without using the inheritance model.  It means that developers who wish 
to create new DITA specializations have to manually validate its 
inheritance model which is prone to error.

Out-of-the-box schema support for XML Schema in a publishing pipeline is 
another reason that in the documentation world use of schemas is very 
slow in its adoption.  Hopefully, that will change when freely available 
applications that support XSLT 2.0 becomes more mainstream. Web browsers 
still do not support viewing/transforming schema validated XML document 
because they still uses XSLT 1.0 processors underneath the covers. 
User's must use CSS stylesheets to render their schema validated documents.

Since the both DTDs and  XML Schemas are normative for the DITA 
specification we are currently working on supporting  both DTDs and XML 
Schemas validated documents in the DITA-OT (DITA Open Toolkit at 
SourceForge)  publishing pipeline.  It will work with XSLT 1.0 
processors too.

Kind regards,


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