Re: Who can implement W3C XML Schema ?
On Wed, Mar 20, 2002 at 11:56:07AM -0800, Dare Obasanjo wrote: > > 2. If the spec is clear and the implementation simply does > > not implement > > the spec, let the vendor know the problem, and that > > compatibility really > > matters to you. Let's put pressure on the vendors. > > This is good advice. Unfortunately many people don't have the time nor > inclination to send bug reports to vendors nor do they know whom to > contact. It's not just time and inclination that's a factor here. It's the fact that XML Schema is about as user-friendly as a stick in the eye. Let's concern ourselves with the domain of XML users. For the sake of argument, let's say that: 80% of these users don't care about schemas 80% of these users have given up on XML Schema because of it's impenetrability, complexity, or sheer size 80% of the remaining users have given up on XML Schema because of the difficulty in finding tools and APIs that they can actually understand, use and incorporate into their projects If I'm doing my math right, that leaves roughly 1% of XML users actually *trying* to do something with XML Schema. From there: 80% are creating very simple schemata, and not pushing the envelope. For them, rudimentary features and the handful of existing implementations are sufficient. 80% of the remainder give up when attempting to use more complex features, either by failing to continue to use XML Schema, constraining themselves to features they know to work (or err on the side of false positives instead of false negatives) At this point, a very small number of users are using XML Schemas with validators and *might* be having conformance problems. This should not be news, it's simply a statement of the early adopter syndrome. However, the fact that there is no standard API to use with XML Schema is impeding matters; XSLT and XSL-FO provide a very simple, testable standard interface to the user, which helps to explain why XSLT is so much more heavily implemented, deployed and used than XML Schema. Furthermore, once one of those <1% who do have problems get past the limiting factors of finding the right address[es] where problem reports will be appreciated, and find the tuits to send those reports, then we have to tackle the issue of identifying whether the problem is: - a lack of understanding of the specification - a corner case of the specification - a conformance error Most programmers I know err on the side of caution and choose (1), rather than doing the extra work to see if a problem is truly an error of some kind (or embarassing themselves when Henry points out their misconceptions). As a result, either they start trying to find a work-around with XML Schema or their particular validator, or they give up and fall back into the majority. Foisting the problems with XML Schema and validators upon a user population that does not report problems is a big fat dead and bloated red herring. The true problem is with XML Schema itself, and that too is not news. Other XML Technologies (SAX, DOM, XSLT, XInclude etc.) have higher adoption rates simply because there aren't as many barriers in the way filtering people out of the equation. Surely XInclude isn't being used by 90% of the XML user base, but the fact that it can be implemented in a trivial and obvious XSLT stylesheet or SAX filter certainly *helps* anyone who happens to stumble across it. Furthermore, simple specifications don't have the issues of debugging problems to be bugs with the specification, implementation or understanding of a technology. Z.
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