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Ian ThomasSubject: Validating XSD schema sets
Author: Ian Thomas
Date: 27 Jun 2007 01:38 PM
Originally Posted: 27 Jun 2007 01:23 PM
Again, a set of naive questions. They require a long preamble.

I have a set of XSD files, described in an earlier question on this forum [1].

I have loaded these into a project, by simply dropping a folder structure of XSD schema files that exists on disk onto the empty named project in Stylus Studio [2007 Ent R2 Build 894i].
(I'm not sure of the terminology for this; let's call it a virtual folder structure).

If I select the base (starting) schema file correctly, then load it (here, it is gmd.xsd), then manipulate the top pane in Diagram mode (not familiar with correct terminology yet), I can see the nested schema files are recognized and can be loaded / examined /edited etc.

I'm not interested in changing even one character of any of these 61 XSD files. All I want to do is to validate them, in the sense that they're valid XML and that the include and import clauses are correct.

Question 1:
Although I have 7 parsers (see Options > General > Custom Validation Engines), the validate document tool in the top pane (Diagram mode) shows 3 only (pull-down arrow --> list of 3).
I assume this is because I have for just 3 of the 7, the checkbox labelled 'Supports validation for XML Schema' CHECKED.

Question 2:
In a previous post [2] I asked which were the default parsers and the state of the 'Supports validation for XML Schema' checkbox.
No doubt this is important, and not something that an ignorant user (like I am at present) can change in an ad hoc manner?

Question 3:
If I have none /one / several XSD documents actually loaded in the central part of Stylus Studio, but I click on (say) the Project node in the Projects pane, then select from the main (top of screen, pulldown menus) XMLSchema > Validate Document -
.... Part A. What exactly is this validating? That is, how do I nominate or set the base XSD schema file from which the entire validation process should commence?
.... Part B. Or is the currently-selected, loaded XSD schema file in the centre pane automatically set by SS as the base schema file?
.... Part C. Which validation / parsing engine is in operation? Is it the top-most one in the Options > General > Custom Validation Engines setting - IFF its 'Supports validation for XML Schema' checkbox is checked (and its being checked is actually correct for this parser)?
.... Part D. Is there any way to change the parsing engine that will be used, except for going to the Options settings?


For the sake of clarity, I will fill in the URLs here at a later time -
[1] Validation of deeply-nested schemas (many include, import)
http://www.stylusstudio.com/SSDN/default.asp?action=9&read=6635&fid=23

[2] Standard Validation Engines
http://www.stylusstudio.com/SSDN/default.asp?action=9&read=6673&fid=23

I have looked long and hard at the user guide, and I can't find answers to these questions. Sorry if I have somehow missed them.

Ian

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Alberto MassariSubject: Validating XSD schema sets
Author: Alberto Massari
Date: 27 Jun 2007 03:02 PM
Hi Ian,

>Question 1:
>Although I have 7 parsers (see
>Options > General >
>Custom Validation Engines),
>the validate document tool in
>the top pane (Diagram mode)
>shows 3 only (pull-down arrow
>--> list of 3).
>I assume this is because I
>have for just 3 of the 7, the
>checkbox labelled 'Supports
>validation for XML Schema'
>CHECKED.

Right (even if the MSXML and .NET should be removed from this list)

>Question 2:
>In a previous post [2] I asked
>which were the default parsers
>and the state of the 'Supports
>validation for XML Schema'
>checkbox.
>No doubt this is important,
>and not something that an
>ignorant user (like I am at
>present) can change in an ad
>hoc manner?

See the answer in that thread

>Question 3:
>If I have none /one / several
>XSD documents actually loaded
>in the central part of Stylus
>Studio, but I click on (say)
>the Project node in the
>Projects pane, then select
>from the main (top of screen,
>pulldown menus) XMLSchema >
>Validate Document -
>.... Part A. What exactly is
>this validating? That is, how
>do I nominate or set the base
>XSD schema file from which the
>entire validation process
>should commence?

The menu is always aligned with the currently loaded document, so XMLSchema > Validate will validate the currently opened XML Schema

>.... Part B. Or is the
>currently-selected, loaded XSD
>schema file in the centre pane
>automatically set by SS as the
>base schema file?

Yes.

>.... Part C. Which validation
>/ parsing engine is in
>operation? Is it the top-most
>one in the Options >
>General > Custom Validation
>Engines setting - IFF its
>'Supports validation for XML
>Schema' checkbox is checked
>(and its being checked is
>actually correct for this
>parser)?

It's the built-in validator, Xerces-C++

>.... Part D. Is there any way
>to change the parsing engine
>that will be used, except for
>going to the Options settings?

No, XMLSchema > Validate will always use Xerces-C++; in order to use another validator you have to use the drop down menu in the toolbar of the document

Alberto

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Ian ThomasSubject: Validating XSD schema sets
Author: Ian Thomas
Date: 27 Jun 2007 10:39 PM
Originally Posted: 27 Jun 2007 07:26 PM
Thank you Alberto.

Can I suggest that these and the uncertainties that I raised in the previous, related question be added to the IDE help and to the user guide?

I should preface the following by saying that I think SS is an excellent visual tool in all of the features that I have investigated, and the synchronization between the visual and textual depictions in the several displayed panes is very professional.

For one of your future revisions of the product IDE and its functionality, I would suggest that a number of enhancements should be made.

First, in the configuration (Options > etc), especially the validation / parser engine section, it would be very useful for users if the Standard settings could be restored in the event that users changed them inappropriately. For the XSD validation functionality, it would be a sensible precaution to disable the checkbox for those that should not (cannot) do XSD validation. I am not familiar enough with the inner workings to know if that applies to any of the parameters / settings in the textboxes as well.

Before leaving discussion of this Options setting which users can change, I wonder if for the *Standard* parsers they could be identified or distinguished from true *Custom* validators, by an additional column or other means in the listbox? I think your developers and UI usage testers could make more useful suggestions, based on my (BAD) experiences that have been described in the 2 posts that I made yesterday.

Configuration settings that are saveable or readable from disk files are a mixed blessing, but I do think it would be useful if they could at least be written to disk (exported), for diagnostic purposes. If they could serve another purpose in allowing restoration (rather than being hard-coded into SS itself, or within the registry), then there are user locations like the Application Data locations and even the IsolatedStorage.

I know that these settings are stored in the Windows Registry (I have poked about - just looking, mind) but using these other locations and in XML format might be useful.

I don't know if any of these suggestions might apply to settings (Options) other than the "Custom Validation Engine" section - maybe?

Another alert that I believe would be very useful to users when validating schemas would be to (somehow - I haven't thought it through) visually alert or even warn users about the base schema at which the validation commences.

I believe this is flagged in a meaningful way to the users in XML Spy (I tested a 30-day eval version before X-grading my old version to Stylus Studio, some weeks ago).

When starting a validation from the Projects pane, the current behaviour of SS is to use just the Java built-in (Xerces C++) parser, and to default to the XSD file that is in focus in the centre pane (?? or, selected in the folder/file tree in the Projects pane).

As I recall, XML Spy allows (by a context menu in its equivalent position to the Projects pane - and perhaps elsewhere) the base schema to be selected or set / changed, and the validator to be nominated at that time as well.

With a deeply-nested schema set such as the ISO19139 one that I am using as a test case, it may be useful to test individual "limbs" of the schema tree individually, but to have the absolute base schema fixed or defined.

In the ISO19139 case that I am testing, I am (at present) not changing one character of the 61 separate XSD files, and the base XSD file is absolute.

But in development or modification of complex schema tree, I can imagine that flexibility could be useful.

The messaging in the Output pane is very helpful during validation, but I wonder if it might be enhanced by including additional information about the validation engine (eg, "Validation Begins. Using Standard Validation Engine 'Java built-in'. Target Schema (base or starting schema) is XXXX.XSD" - etc).

I have run out of / forgotten the suggestions that occurred to me while writing my two "20 Questions" posts, earlier. Maybe I will return to this later, if it's useful to the SS developer / usability people.

Ian

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Alberto MassariSubject: Validating XSD schema sets
Author: Alberto Massari
Date: 28 Jun 2007 07:57 AM
Hi Ian,
thanks for your suggestion; we will keep them into consideration for the next version of Stylus.
Just a few corrections:
1) the Stylus built-in (default) validator is Xerces-C++, that is different from the Java built-in, that is Xerces-J; they are both from Apache, but they differ both in the language (Java vs C++) and in the implementation
2) the Custom Validator Engines are saved in the file system, in the subfolder "Custom Validation Engines" of the "bin" folder; each validator has a small XML file containing the same parameters you see in the Tools | Options dialog. So you can revert to the original settings also by reinstalling Stylus.

Alberto

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Ian ThomasSubject: Validating XSD schema sets
Author: Ian Thomas
Date: 28 Jun 2007 08:31 AM
Originally Posted: 28 Jun 2007 08:09 AM
I think I was told that Xerces-J has been dropped and that Java wotsis is now Xerces C++ - this was the response from your confrere.

http://www.stylusstudio.com/SSDN/default.asp?action=9&read=6673&fid=23
>>>>>>>>>>>>.... Part C. Which validation / parsing engine is in operation?
>>>>>>>>>>> Is it the top-most one in the Options >General > Custom Validation > >Engines setting -
>>>>>>>>>>> IFF its 'Supports validation for XML Schema' checkbox is checked
>>>>>>>>>>> (and its being checked is actually correct for this
>>>>>>>>>>> parser)?

>>>>>>>>>>> It's the built-in validator, Xerces-C++

>>>>>>>>>>> .... Part D. Is there any way to change the parsing engine that will be used, except for going to the Options settings?

>>>>>>>>>>>No, XMLSchema > Validate will always use Xerces-C++; in order to use another validator you have to use the drop down menu in the toolbar of the document
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>Alberto

Having to reinstall SS is a bit drastic!

There is no way that we would recommend that to our customers!

Ian

(I hate this forum software)

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Alberto MassariSubject: Validating XSD schema sets
Author: Alberto Massari
Date: 28 Jun 2007 08:32 AM
Hi Ian,
what I wrote in the other threads was the there used to be a Xerces-J 2.5 entry in the validator list, that has now been replaced by Java built-in (i.e. whatever Xerces-J is shipped with the JVM currently used). In both cases, we are talking about validators written in Java. Instead the Stylus built-in validator (the one you get when you invoke the Validate menu command, or by clicking on the validate button on the toolbar) is Xerces-C++.

>Having to reinstall SS is a bit drastic!

Well, it doesn't require you to uninstall the existing copy of Stylus; every update of Stylus overwrites the existing files, so you get the correct configuration by re-running the installer or by updating to a newer build.

Alberto

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Ian ThomasSubject: Validating XSD schema sets
Author: Ian Thomas
Date: 28 Jun 2007 09:36 AM
Originally Posted: 28 Jun 2007 08:56 AM
OK, I accept that you know (both) know what you're talking about.

In some revision of the user Guide, can you clarify what this means -

***** there used to be a Xerces-J 2.5 entry in the validator list,
***** that has now been replaced by Java built-in
***** (i.e. whatever Xerces-J is shipped with the JVM currently used).
***** In both cases, we are talking about validators written in Java.

***** Instead the Stylus built-in validator (the one you get when you
***** invoke the Validate menu command, or by clicking on the
***** validate button on the toolbar) is Xerces-C++.

C++ != Java is my naive understanding of what you told me, but it doesn't really matter to me.

To me as a dumb user, it's just a flag (despite having to rely on that awful arcane language, Jflat). And when is C# code generation due?

(joking of course)

Ian T

PS I hope yopu guys like my GWB avatar

 
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