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Linking XML documents and constraining those links

I'm sending this message on behalf of my colleague John Arwe, co-chair of the W3C SML WG.

The W3C Service Modeling Language working group expects to publish a second (and hopefully final!) Last Call Working Draft "real soon now".  Some reviewers from the XQuery working group mentioned that the topic of referential integrity for sets of linked XML documents might be of sufficient interest to these lists that it would be worth soliciting a review.  Besides, they're great beach reading ;-)

Some of the earlier articles on SML attributed to it a somewhat different scope [1], either wider or narrower depending upon your point of view.  With that in mind, here is an outline of the topics actually in scope for SML as currently defined:

SML - definition of concepts for a model (a set of XML documents)

- Model validity ~ instances valid against XML Schema documents and any associated Schematron documents

- XML instance document extensions

- - Extensible syntax for recognizing SML references (conceptually, links) between document elements ... element A in document 1 links to element B in document 2, etc

- XML Schema extensions

- - Constraining SML references based on various criteria, e.g. target element, target element's type, are cycles allowed

- - Cross-document identity constraints (key, unique, keyref)

- - Association of Schematron rules with global elements and global complex types

SML-IF - interchange format, adds concrete syntax for exchanging models in cases where SML defines concepts but not syntax

- Association of XML Schema and Schematron documents with other model documents

- Association of 0..n URI aliases with each model document

Review drafts and instructions for providing comments are on the working group's page [2].  Until the new LC drafts are available (likely mid-July), we recommend using the editor's copies also available at [2].  [2] also has the links to the working group's Bugzilla page, so you can see which text is still being revised (keyword: editorial indicates conceptual agreement as indicated in the bug, just waiting for final drafting).

The potentially substantive issues for which we do not have final consensus as of this email (but expect to _very_ soon) are:

- base URI source http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=5542

- whether or not to support barenames in SML references http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=5543

Best Regards, John Arwe (W3C SML wg co-chair)

[1] http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dailynews/200702/msg00004.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/XML/SML/

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