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RE: [xml-dev] When you create a markup language, what do your parent elements mean? What do your children elements mean?

I was taught containment is-a has-a not a is-a (which is what property
relationships imply) but this 'semantic'.  In the sense that a definition
(say a DTD) specifies that an element can have or has-a emphasis.

Experience is trying to crunch object concepts into data concepts works only
for special cases.  One might enumerate those.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Melton [mailto:jim.melton@oracle.com] 
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2011 2:29 PM
To: liam@w3.org
Cc: Costello, Roger L.; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] When you create a markup language, what do your
parent elements mean? What do your children elements mean?

Further to the use of XML parent and child elements for 
representation of documents, I'm surprised that nobody has used the 
following example:

<paragraph>This is a sample paragraph that has some <emphasis 
kind="italics">text markup</emphasis> embedded within 
it.  <quote>This is a common situation</quote>, said the author.</paragraph>

In that XML example, the <paragraph> element has five 
children.  Three of those children are text nodes (which are not, of 
course, elements or attributes).  Two of the children are elements, 
each of which has a single child (a text node).  One of those element 
children has an attribute that, in this case, specifies something 
about the element itself.

I don't think that anybody could reasonably claim that the <emphasis> 
child element has any definitive relationship to the <paragraph> 
element other than simple containment.  As Liam suggested, this is an 
example of a parent-child relationship that has nothing to do with a 
"has-a" relationship.  That is, <emphasis> is not a property of the 
object <paragraph> (and I find referring to <paragraph> as an 
"object" not all that helpful anyway, although it's certainly not 
"wrong" to do so).

Hope this helps,

At 9/28/2011 08:09 PM, Liam R E Quin wrote:
>On Mon, 2011-09-26 at 08:54 -0400, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
> > Hi Folks,
> >
> > How do you define a parent element and its children?
> > Recap: here are two ways of defining the meaning of markup:
> >
> > 1. Object-property
> > 2. Functional definition
> >
> > What other ways are there?
>What is this thing called "meaning" of which you speak?
>One fundamental difference between GML and XSLT is that GML is a
>modeling language. Other XML vocabulary types include transcription
>languages (TEI), document-writing languages (docbook, mallard),
>event-logs (HTTP access, bird-watching reports), constraint languages,
>graphical languages, formatting languages, XML-based protocols (xmlrpc,
>SOAP, WDT [1]) and much more.
>Some languages use the parent-child relationship to signify something
>beyond parent-child or "has-a" and some do not.  My feeling is that most
>do not, in fact.
>Similarly, followed-by can be significant, and often is, but also often
>is not. War and Peace is a lot to read in any order, but makes most
>sense in original document order. Dhalgren makes no sense in any
>order :-)
>XSLT uses lexical containment (parent-child) as a scoped block; a
>graphical language might use containment as an implicit clipping or
>There's no general rule.
>[1] "SOAP - Where's The Dirt?"
>Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
>Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
>Ankh: irc.sorcery.net irc.gnome.org www.advogato.org

Jim Melton --- Editor of ISO/IEC 9075-* (SQL)     Phone: +1.801.942.0144
   Chair, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC32 and W3C XML Query WG    Fax : +1.801.942.3345
Oracle Corporation        Oracle Email: jim dot melton at oracle dot com
1930 Viscounti Drive      Alternate email: jim dot melton at acm dot org
Sandy, UT 84093-1063 USA  Personal email: SheltieJim at xmission dot com
=  Facts are facts.   But any opinions expressed are the opinions      =
=  only of myself and may or may not reflect the opinions of anybody   =
=  else with whom I may or may not have discussed the issues at hand.  =


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