Thought and a Question

Barringer, Kerry kerrybarringer at BBG.ORG
Fri Nov 30 11:01:25 CET 2001

Thoughts on Leigh's Question

At this stage, I am not worried about the differences in the XML
vocabularies used by different people.  For at least a little while we
should explore the alternatives and see what the different models and
different encodings have to offer.  I have found that other peoples work has
really helped me to see better solutions to some of the problems and
sometimes helped me think of new ideas to try.

I think that after a while, the alternatives will become set and the group
will need to have a means of selecting among the alternatives.  The
challenge cases should provide a way to evaluate the effectiveness of the
different solutions.  Then the group can come up with a proposal, invite
comments, and work out the first version.

How to present the different solutions to the challenge cases is a problem
that should be worked out now.  If this was decided at the last meeting, let
us know.  Otherwise, it seems that many people have there own ideas of the
proper way to present solutions.

My ideas are:

        An XML data model is, for me, a DTD or a Schema.  The model is an
abstract representation of the data.  This is what we should be producing.
        Personally, I prefer DTD's because I am more familiar with them.
They are easier to understand because they are simple and relatively free of
markup.  As Bob Morris has pointed out though, they do lack some of the
features found in XML Schemas.  However, Schemas are more difficult to
understand, especially for people who might know the systematics, but not
the XML.

        A solution to a challenge case should have the model (DTD or
Schema), markup of the challenge case that validates to the model, and a
short program that solves the challenge using the markup.  The last is
important because it is too easy to develop a theoretically neat model that
has practical problems.  Also, if the group is to pick from the features of
different alternatives it would be better to see how they work.

These are just my thoughts and I would like to understand what others are
thinking and what may have already been decided at the last meeting.


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