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Re: [xml-dev] Defining an XML vocabulary: specify syntax, semanti cs, and BEHAVIOR?

On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 12:59 AM,  <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> Len Bullard wrote:
>  > The question might be better phrased by specifying the actor that is
>  > instructed.  No format without a format handler.
>  Well, that seems to be the opposite of the position I was taking.  When I
>  set my resume down in an XML document, I don't have some particular actor
>  in mind.  Sometimes the "actor" will be a "hire me" application. Sometimes
>  the same resume can go into a repository of resumes of those who work for
>  my current employer.  Sometime it might be used as input to a search
>  application.

Well, Roger's original question involved around specified standards,
in the context I pointed out that Data standards tend not to have
behaviors specified for them in the specification of the vocabulary.
Thus in the example of XSL-T it specifies the grammar but also the
behaviors needed to make an XSL-T 'implementation'. In your examples
you have data which is not usually thought of as something that has a
behavior associated with it. Of course it is obvious that this is a
somewhat artificial distinction at some levels, I have an XML database
with lots of XSL-Ts saved in it to do analysis on. But that isn't
something specified in  the specification, that is something implied
by the base specification of XML.
Similarly, an XML document giving the inventory of some

>In many, though certainly not in all cases, the power
>  of XML is that there can indeed be formats without format handlers.  "No
>  format without a format handler" is pretty close to the object-oriented
>  approach; there are things for which OO is very good, but XML can be good
>  for other things too.

If I have an application that takes all XML in, I look for first a
specific format handler or then fall back to the default handler for
unrecognized XML in my application. The default handler is the XML
format handler and the format is XML.

If I have an application that handles two formats and each of them has
a handler then if I get a format X that I don't recognize and I dump
it, then the format isn't handled and the format isn't from the
viewpoint of my application a format.

If I think of format handler in these ways then obviously there can't
be a format without a format handler. I'm not sure if that was what
Len meant though because it renders the statement somewhat oxymoronic.

Bryan Rasmussen

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