Re: Microsoft's DISCO proposal and XML packaging
Edd Dumbill wrote: > > I've just read http://msdn.microsoft.com/xml/general/disco.asp > "Draft: Discovery of Web Services (DISCO)" It looks way better than nothing. Packaging or resource discovery seems to be one area where the commitment by vendors to open standards seems to come up against the realization that they lose a barrier to competition. So it is particularly heartening if MS can push something through in that area: I think we should welcome any initiative here. I would guess that the design of DISCO allows that: it doesn't require any (co-operative) controlled vocabulary, so there is still complete scope for each vendor to use different namespaces for the same thing. It seems that the format is intended to work mainly by linking: if you really want to discover what the resource is, you have to fetch it and poke around. > I will also note that DISCO seems close to Sean McGrath's XFM (XML > Feature Manifest) and Simon St.Laurent's XPDL > <http://purl.oclc.org/NET/xpdl>. I asked at WWW9 about W3C > initiatives for addressing this kind of "packaging" activity, and got > the response that it was effectively on hold and nothing was happening > on it People interested in this might also see my * "DrLove: Document Resource Locations (on Valid Elements)" at http://www.ascc.net/~ricko/drlove.htm which proposes 1) use a PI like the stylesheet PI locating a "resource dictionary" 2) the resource dictionary is a simple wrapper element 3) the things that are wrapped should be RDF statements So the differences of DISCO with DrLove for these three things are: 1) Disco has more comprehensive rules which do not involve defining a new PI, kowtowing to fashion; 2) same, thoughh fewer attributes 3) the thing that is wrapped is a lot less ambitious, just a link. I think DISCO's #1 makes sense politically. I think DrLove's #3 (use RDF) is better. However, I note that DISCO is open, so RDF statements can be put in if needed. So my recommendation, for what it is worth, for DISCO would be to reconcile it either with XLink or with the RDF. Decide whether DISCO:discovery should contain links or resource descriptions (or, best, both) and use it as a good opportunity to support the W3C specs for links and for resource descriptions. I wonder if Simon and Sean might care to compare Disco with their approaches? Rick Jelliffe
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