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RE: Proposal: a building block approach to XML design

Thanks David and Michael. Good comments.

Suppose I create building blocks as follows:

-- I place each building block into a separate schema file.

-- I assign each building block a different namespace.

So I have a bunch of building blocks, each in a different namespace.

Thus, requirement (1) has been met:

> (1) Need to identify an appropriate set of building blocks.

The Lego pattern also requires:

> (2) Need to specify the rules for assembling the building blocks.

NVDL [1] can be used for this.  NVDL is great for specifying how components in different namespaces are to be assembled.

Here's the strategy: the user hands to the web service an NVDL document, "Hey, here are my assembly instructions, please construct an XML document that meets these assembly instructions."

But web services aren't good at this. 

Users can't give a web service a set of assembly instructions. 

Web services merely provide a menu of pre-assembled XML documents and the user can only select from the menu. 

So how do we empower users of web services to "get what they want" and not what the web service has already pre-assembled?


[1] NVDL tutorial: http://www.xfront.com/nvdl/

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