Relax NG, Thoughts, etc.
In one session I chaired at XML 2004, I asked attendees to hold up their hands if they thought that RELAX NG should be used in cases where Schema is now required. In a room of about 40 people, 5 raised their hands. I've no beef against XSD, and I've written a DTD or two in my day, but this situation where the W3C and certain very large unnamed vendors ignore RELAX isn't right. OTOH, based on that admittedly off the cuff poll (god knows some might have thought I was asking if they preferred LSD to relaxing), it seems not enough users know about RELAX NG or appreciate the merits. That should change. I have a suspicion that it is the current trendiness of ontologies etc. that is drowning out the RELAX opportunity. We need to do a better job educating our fellows about the differences among these kinds of technologies, and make some noise in Redmond and elsewhere that RELAX is clearly the easier path for a very large intersection of needs. I can't make up my mind about Topic Maps vs RDF or if that is even an issue. Steve Pepper's presentation and the Ontopia tool made me a believer in that combination, that is, one can with a little practice, make a super useful model and document with Topic Maps. I've no experience with RDF. I am told the Protege tool is fantastic. I have to get my head around this one better. I do think that the HLS Beltway experts should be working hard to get the priorities right. Some things I saw gave me pause to worry a bit that we may be putting a lot of noise into the consultancy food chain. This will become RFP fodder that is a little too close to the edge to implement given the current state of tools, technologies and standards. Given the mission, we should take extra care not to oversell the capabilities of our technologies, or to underplay the expense of implementing them in real world projects. len
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