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   Efficiency Structured XML - esXML 0.9 specification available

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The specification for esXML has been updated significantly.  The current 
specification includes the ability to be tuned for processing, 
compactness, and processing+compactness optimized application 
scenarios.  Several innovative ideas are included, especially the 
MetaStructure Instance (MSI) representation of information that is 
"externalized" from a "complete" instance of a data object. 

esXML supports documents or objects that are any place on a spectrum 
from self-contained and self-describing (a la text-based XML, with or 
without a schema) to a fully-externalized data representation.  The 
latter externalizes various typing, structure, and metadata into an MSI, 
leaving a highly compact and optionally compressed instance, similar to 
PER encoding.  One ore more MSIs + a referring instance are equivalent 
to a self-contained, self-describing instance.  This mechanism helps 
unify the various styles of data encoding under a theoretical framework, 
referred to as "externalization", for thinking about what is or is not 
present in an instance.  In many legacy cases, for instance, knowledge 
about the structure of an instance is embedded in the actual code that 
knows how to interpret it.  This is important when comparing various 
approaches to general purpose data representation.

The MSI is designed to allow any template, schema language, or automated 
encoding design process to produce metadata that any encoder and decoder 
can use to access or convert data.  This allows both the specification 
and codecs to be simplified while allowing the use of schema-based 
encoding that can evolve independently.

Comments, discussion, and collaborative development are welcome.


Stephen D. Williams
http://sdw.st  sdw@lig.net swilliams@hpti.com


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