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Inheritance and Architectural Forms (was RELAX NG Marketing)

relax ng inheritance

Interesting, when I searched on Google yesterday for some insights into
inheritance in XML, the most comprehensive discussion that I came across was
from this very list and dated (gasp!) April 1998. Plus ca change... I
started reading with a mail from yours truly
(http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/xml-dev-Apr-1998/0201.html) and
followed the thread down. There's a lot of very detailed commentary about
Architectural Forms from people whose knowledge of the topic is orders of
magnitude more complete than mine will ever be (God willing :-).

I believe that you are correct that AFs can handle the kind of polymorphic
behavior that I have been talking about. There are two problems with this:

1) AFs take SGML as gospel and so try to squeeze new features into it with a
lot of extremely clever but somewhat arcane hacks, making the whole thing a
kludgy and hard to understand.
2) To get the benefit of AFs you need an AF-aware processor, and I'm not
aware of such a beast being available to the XML-using masses (but I suspect
that someone will enlighten me).

> >...I feel that polymorphic behavior of XML documents would
> > be an extremely valuable thing. I'd happily justify this 
> statement if anyone
> > is interested, but not in this post since it is already way 
> too long.
> Isn't polymorphic behaviour from a single XML document actually 
> Architectural Forms?
> i.e. one can view the document from multiple processing perspectives 
> by selecting the appropriate architectural form and 
> associated architectural 
> processor?
> After the last discussion on AFs, I was left with the conclusion that 
> one could address some (all?) of the type derivation requirements of 
> XSD using an Architectural Forms based approach. Or more to put 
> this another way, that AFs facilitate variations in schemas but still 
> provide a validatable core.
> Unfortunately I've just not had the time to either fully test 
> this idea, 
> or more formally write up that same discussion.
> Cheers,
> L. (lacking in tuits of whatever shape)
> -- 
> Leigh Dodds, Research Group, Ingenta | "Pluralitas non est ponenda
> http://weblogs.userland.com/eclectic |    sine necessitate"
> http://www.xml.com/pub/xmldeviant    |     -- William of Ockham


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