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Re: [xml-dev] Should an XML vocabulary be a Swiss Army Knife or adedicated appliance?

Roger --

While your question seems reasonable to me: "when should one 
accommodate variation in a vocabulary and when should one create 
separate vocabularies?"
I am confused by the premise that creation costs are on a par with 
usage costs. There are advantages and disadvantages to both 
approaches from the user/usage point of view, and I think this should 
be discussed only on that basis. One approach may be easier to learn, 
simpler to maintain, better support familiar user interfaces and 
reports, the other may make a growing portion of the business 
smoother, encourage users to use outside resources, reduce hand-work, 

The differences in the costs to CREATE the vocabularies should be 
(largely) irrelevant in an environment in which the 
vocabulary/vocabularies are create once and used many many times.

-- Tommie

At 4:39 PM -0500 2/16/09, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
>Hi Folks,
>A few weeks ago we discussed what's involved in creating an XML 
>vocabulary. One of the key points that I gained from that discussion 
>     Create an XML vocabulary to satisfy a
>     business process; otherwise, what's the point.
>But what about two business processes that are the same at a high 
>level, but vary in the details; should there be one XML vocabulary 
>or two?
>At a high level both a local moving company and Fedex are the same - 
>they both move merchandise from point A to point B; they both 
>provide a way to track the status of the merchandise.
>At the detail level they have significant differences - the local 
>moving company can move the contents of an entire home whereas Fedex 
>primarily moves smaller items; the local moving company uses big 
>trucks to move the merchandise whereas Fedex uses airplanes; the 
>local moving company operates within a 50 mile radius whereas Fedex 
>operates worldwide.
>Here are two approaches to developing an XML vocabulary for the 
>local moving company and Fedex:
>APPROACH #1: Create Separate XML Vocabularies
>This approach takes the attitude that these are really two business 
>processes, so create two XML vocabularies - one for the local moving 
>company and one for Fedex.
>Advantage: it's simpler to generate the XML vocabularies. The two 
>companies won't be arguing about the XML vocabulary.
>Disadvantage: it will be more difficult for the local moving company 
>and Fedex to interoperate. Suppose that the local moving company 
>subcontracts with Fedex to do certain jobs; since the XML 
>vocabularies are disjoint it will be difficult to interoperate.
>This approach is analogous to creating dedicated appliances.
>APPROACH #2: Create One XML Vocabulary with Specialized Sections
>This approach takes the attitude that it's really just one business 
>process containing specialized sections.
>Advantage: it will be easier for the local moving company and Fedex 
>to interoperate since they share the same high level framework.
>Disadvantage: the XML vocabulary is more complex. The two companies 
>will argue about the XML vocabulary.
>This approach is analogous to creating a Swiss Army Knife.
>Which approach do you recommend? Perhaps there's another approach 
>that you recommend?
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B. Tommie Usdin                        mailto:btusdin@mulberrytech.com
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.                http://www.mulberrytech.com
17 West Jefferson Street                           Phone: 301/315-9631
Suite 207                                    Direct Line: 301/315-9634
Rockville, MD  20850                                 Fax: 301/315-8285
   Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in XML and SGML

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