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RE: [xml-dev] RE: Word processors and semantic content

A very large percentage of the XML applications I see are for
XML-on-the-wire or for persistent (for some value of time) storage of
configurations.  XML-as-human-originated-document is quite rare except for
those cases where as in relational systems, a forms-based or mixed-widget
GUI is applied. Even then, what I usually see is the relational tables
holding most of the persistent and fast transient information, and XML used
as a kind of leaf for holding data that has some structure that resists
convenient normalization and analysis, eg, a complexity leaf stored in a
field.  In these cases, one can hardly argue the XML is semantically laden
except fpr the last case, and even here, it is a means of punting away
analysis and negotiation to a later time.  The editor is, the presentation
system is, perhaps other processors in the pipeline are validating values,
but not the on-the-wire representation.

That's isn't news here on XML-Dev, but as a fan of markup, I am also one who
finds very few compelling use cases for XML databases today.   Perhaps that
will change, but I'd like to hear the 'compelling use cases' where enhanced
semantic support is a fundamental predicate of the case.


From: Cox, Bruce [mailto:Bruce.Cox@USPTO.GOV] 
I'd have to agree.  The USPTO tried some years ago to persuade
applicants to submit patent applications in XML with very little
success.  Those few corporate customers who adopted the tools we gave
them (MS Word with template conversion to XML) produced documents that
were not reliably structured.  While the software itself was
problematic, the bigger issue was that the person creating the document
did not use the styles (structures) appropriately (abstract tagged as
the last claim, for example).  You could argue that it's only a matter
of training the users in the conceptual model of the patent application
contained in the structure of the underlying schema, and then they'd be
able to correctly populate that structure, but I don't think so.  These
were folks who knew all about the structure of a patent application
(professional clerks in very large IP law firms), but had no economic
motivation to be careful with the markup.

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