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RE: modeling, validating and documenting an xml grammar

  • To: "'Simon St.Laurent'" <simonstl@s...>, xml-dev@l...
  • Subject: RE: modeling, validating and documenting an xml grammar
  • From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@i...>
  • Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 10:18:21 -0500

RE:  modeling
Or individual judgements have to outweigh political 
consensus in individual cases. (aka, "no size fits all").

Consider that this is a case of analogical reasoning 
(applying use cases) to support or induce a theory 
(the Schema language design) which must then be applied 
to real cases but which never precisely supports a universal 
premise (the notion of the Schema as THE standard).
It is the weakness of standardization prior to 
well-understood and clearly documented practice: we 
give it the power of a universal premise, reason 
logically and correctly from that premise to conclusions 
which do not match local cases and cannot given the 
need to keep standards stable (one can question that) 
be operated on to adjust for local conditions.  What 
I see in the min/max feature is such a feature: make 
it as tight or loose as needed.  In the DTD and RELAX, 
it can only be tight (0 or 1) in a given case, but 
is loose is all others.  Its cost is the cost of 
preserving the option.

Most standards are someone's best guess, not a 
universal law.  That is why the W3C is at its 
best when it is specifying systems, not standardizing 
them.  The depth of work of the TAG is a pretty 
good example of the cost of the cleanup.  Not a 
pretty job.


From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@s...]

At 12:23 AM 6/19/2003 -0700, Dennis Sosnoski wrote:
>Just for the record, I think any standards committee that *doesn't* follow 
>the principle of "if in doubt, leave it out" should be forced to keep 
>circulating their ever more bloated specification amongst themselves in a 
>feedback cycle until their mail servers all crash and the evil product of 
>their activities is lost to the bit bucket. WXS seemed to be firmly on 
>this track, but somehow the damned thing escaped to the wild before the 
>inevitable collapse. I consider it a virus.

Hmmm... maybe we actually need fewer public drafts rather than more.  Cruel 
gatekeepers might help.  Or perhaps we should encourage a greater sense of 
shame among specification developers?

Tough political problem, certainly.

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