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Re: schema management for a document pipeline: requestfor comm


document pipeline
Bob,

I'd like to suggest another possible approach to this. One of your 
statements in schemaStages.html is:

"Anyone who came to XML from an electronic publishing background 
knows that the second option [Just keep them as separate schemas and 
edit the appropriate ones when necessary.] is also unacceptable, 
because it's too prone to error. As with the documents themselves, 
the best way to create multiple related ones reliably and repeatably 
is to create a master one and generate the others from it. "

Of course that is true if the job is done manually. But even in your 
extraction process there is room for error - how do you check that 
the successive stages are consistent, for example? You at least need 
to check what the differences are between successive stages (I have 
done this with DeltaXML and will post the results on our web site at 
http://www.deltaxml.com/schema-pipeline/)

If it is possible to handle the edits/changes in an automated way, 
then the second option approach is worth considering. One reason for 
this is simply the case where the original schema, public.xsd, is not 
your own one so you do not control it. In this case it is difficult 
to add all the variations to it because someone else may change the 
original schema.

We presented a paper on a related subject at XML Europe 2002. The 
problem is how to update the derivations when the original changes, 
and this is a 3-way merge problem. In other words, take the changes 
to the original and the changes made to the derivation and merge 
these together. If you can identify conflicts here then you can 
always tell when there is a problem. The paper is at 
http://www.deltaxml.com/pdf/merging-xml-files.pdf

Probably better to go off-line for more detailed discussions of this. 
But I think there are some interesting possibilities for Schema 
management if the 3-way merge can be done reliably - not only does it 
help in your method when the original is not in your control, but it 
allows variations to be held as standard schemas also, but managed 
properly.

Robin

At 10:15 am -0400 6/6/02, DuCharme, Bob (LNG) wrote:
>It's reasonable to assume that a document moving through a pipeline of
>processes will conform to a slightly different schema after each stage. For
>example, a checkIn date-time stamp attribute may not be in the arriving
>document, but process two may require that it's in process one's output.
>
>How do you manage this collection of what are essentially variations on the
>same schema? I have a more detailed statement of the problem and a proposal
>for a solution at http://www.snee.com/xml/schemaStages.html. The problem and
>solution apply equally to W3C and RELAX NG schemas.
>
>I'd like to hear any comments and suggestions. For example, my examples are
>pretty simple; can anyone think of a reason that it might not scale well?
>
>thanks,
>
>Bob DuCharme          www.snee.com/bob           <bob@ 
>snee.com>  "The elements be kind to thee, and make thy
>spirits all of comfort!" Anthony and Cleopatra, III ii
>
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-- 
-- -----------------------------------------------------------------
Robin La Fontaine, Director, Monsell EDM Ltd
DeltaXML: "Change control for XML in XML"
Tel: +44 1684 592 144 Fax: +44 1684 594 504
Email: robin.lafontaine@d...      http://www.deltaxml.com

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