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RE: Inheritance and Architectural Forms (was RELAX NG Marketing)

architectural mapping

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matthew Gertner [mailto:matthew.gertner@s...]
> Sent: 27 March 2002 12:01
> To: 'Leigh Dodds'
> Cc: xml-dev@l...
> Subject: Inheritance and Architectural Forms (was RELAX NG Marketing)

There was a recent AF discussion which you may have already seen. I 
posted an interim summary here [1], Robin Cover colllated some of 
the additional responses to that summary [2].

> 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.

John Cowan's Architectural Forms: Next Generation (AF:NG) [3] attempts to remedy 
this. In short: no PI based syntax, separate architectural mapping document

> 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 implemented an early version of AF:NG as an XSLT metastylesheet, although 
haven't had the time to update it to the latest revision. (willing to share _rough_ 
code if anyone really wants it)

APEX [4] also offers an XSLT based approach, but doesn't use AF:NG. Instead the 
architectural mapping info is provided an parameters to the stylesheet.

Both of these ought to be easy to slot into an existing processing chain 
using XML-Pipeline, a JAXP Transformer filter, or perhaps an alternate 
implementation using Streaming Transformations [5] which could 
use a simple SAX filter.

Most of the mystery of AFs seem to come from the difficulty in tackling 
the specification, in principle they seem a very simple and intuitive 
approach. A good deal of the applications of XSLT I've seen could probably 
be handled as mappings.



[1]. http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200202/msg00652.html
[2]. http://xml.coverpages.org/ArchitecturalForms-200202.html
[3]. http://home.ccil.org/~cowan/XML/afng.html
[4]. http://ats.nist.gov/xsltoolbox/apex/index.html
[5]. http://www.gingerall.cz/stx/index.html 


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