[Tdwg-tag] Automatic derivation of XML schemas from models

Roger Hyam roger at tdwg.org
Wed Mar 1 13:35:22 CET 2006

Hi Javier,

Sorry for the delay in responding to this one.

Javier de la Torre wrote:
> I think I also agree with what you are saying, but I suppose is also 
> too general and that in the details can arise differences. Specially 
> if we want TAG only to define a shared vocabulary or classes, how 
> complicate should these classes be?
This is part of my plan. It is easier to agree on the general things and 
so I want to fix these things in stone and slowly move towards the 
detailed and more controversial subjects. We may find that some of the 
controversial subjects can be avoided all together or, when we have a 
framework of agreement in place, it may be possible to have a 
polymorphic approach to some well defined areas.

This is counter intuitive for most of us (including me) as we tend to be 
analysts who look for the problems and exceptions in every case - and 
are therefore unlikely to ever reach agreement.

Your suggestions about auto generation of XML from UML are great. I have 
added them to a wiki page here:


and added that to a list of things to be discussed here:


All the best,


> On 22/02/2006, at 16:50, Roger Hyam wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> It is generally agreed that we need an representation independent 
>> object model or ontology of some kind. I would like to put together a 
>> list of the things that need to be agreed or investigated in order to 
>> do this.
>> Firstly the things I believe we can all agree on (stop me if I am wrong).
>>    1. It should be representation independent (i.e. we should be able
>>       to move it between 'languages' UML, OWL, BNF etc).
>>    2. It should be dynamic (i.e. capable of evolving through time).
>>    3. It should be polymorphic. This is a result of it being dynamic.
>>       There will, at a minimum, be multiple version of any one part
>>       of the model when new version are introduced.
>>    4. It should NOT attempt to be omniscient i.e. it will not cover
>>       everything in our domain, only the parts that need to be
>>       communicated.
>>    5. It will be managed in a distributed fashion. Different teams
>>       will take responsibility for different parts of it.
>> My first Question is:
>> *Does the centralization of the ontology need to go beyond a small 
>> shared vocabulary of terms or base classes?*
>> I envisage this ontology containing things like Collection, Specimen, 
>> TaxonConcept, TaxonName but not defining the detailed structure of 
>> these objects. It would contain a maximum of a few 10's of objects 
>> and properties. TDWG subgroups would be responsible for building 
>> ontologies that extend these base objects but that generally didn't 
>> refer to each other - only to the core. If this is true then I think 
>> the definition of the top level object falls within the remit of the 
>> TAG ( in consultation with others).
>> If this is not a valid way forward what are the alternatives?
>> Are their questions we should ask before this one?
>> Once again I'd be grateful for your thoughts.
>> Roger
>> -- 
>> -------------------------------------
>>  Roger Hyam
>>  Technical Architect
>>  Taxonomic Databases Working Group
>> -------------------------------------
>>  http://www.tdwg.org
>>  roger at tdwg.org
>>  +44 1578 722782
>> -------------------------------------
>> _______________________________________________
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 Roger Hyam
 Technical Architect
 Taxonomic Databases Working Group
 roger at tdwg.org
 +44 1578 722782

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