XML Vocabularies for Large Systems - 3 Philosophically Different Approac
Hi Folks, I am interested in hearing about the nature of XML vocabularies that are being created for large systems. I am particularly interested in hearing from people who have been successful in using simple XML vocabularies to implement the complexities of varied data in large systems. Allow me to explain further... DEFINITION XML Vocabulary: an XML vocabulary is the collection of tags that is used to markup data. For example, this data: Borders Bookstore, 20 Boylston Avenue, Boston, MA, 01320 may be marked-up using this XML vocabulary: <Addressee>, <Street>, <City>, <State>, <Zipcode>. This later constitutes an XML vocabulary for U.S. Mailing Addresses. SYSTEMS OF INTEREST My interest is in large systems, where the variety of data is large, and in the nature of XML vocabularies for such systems. ISSUE - NATURE OF XML VOCABULARIES FOR LARGE SYSTEMS I identify three philosophically different approaches to the creation of an XML vocabulary for a large system: a. Create multiple, simple XML vocabularies. b. Create a single, simple XML vocabulary that is used in multiple ways. c. Create a single, large, complex XML vocabulary. Let us examine each of these approaches: a. Create multiple, simple XML vocabularies In daily life we encounter many analogues to this approach. For example, the postal service has its own simple vocabulary - addressee, street, city, state, and zipcode; a restaurant has its own menu vocabulary - appetizer, entree, dessert, and side dishes. I am sure that you can think of many other examples. We live in a world filled with many simple vocabularies, and (for the most part) we are able to move about and function adequately with this multiplicity of simple vocabularies. Likewise, in creating an XML vocabulary for a large system one approach is to create multiple simple XML vocabularies. b. Create a single, simple XML vocabulary that is used in multiple ways Consider the XML vocabulary called RSS. It is a simple XML vocabulary. Despite its simplicity it is very popular and powerful. Likewise, Jabber is a very popular and powerful simple XML vocabulary. A second approach for the large system is to create a simple XML vocabulary that is used in multiple ways. For example, you may have an RSS feed that captures one aspect of the large system, a second RSS feed that captures a second aspect of the large system, and so forth. The combination of RSS documents is used to collectively capture all the data complexities in the large system. c. Create a single, large, complex XML vocabulary All the complexities of the large system are implemented by creating a single, large, complex XML vocabulary. QUESTIONS Have you implemented a large system? Have you created an XML vocabulary for a large system? Which of the above three approaches did you take? I am particularly interested in hearing from people who have used simple XML vocabularies [approach (a) or (b)] to achieve all the data complexities in a large system. /Roger
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