Re: Document oriented experience reports anyone?
Robin Berjon writes: > I wrote an XML Schema for SVG Full 1.1, and another for SVG Tiny > 1.1. Doing so taught me a number of things: > > * 85% of XML Schema is thoroughly useless and without value; Wow! Please identify the 15% you used -- there are lots of people interested in profiling XML Schema, your input would help. > * the few useful features are weak and without honour; That seems harsh -- could you be a bit more specific? Take content models (I presume they're useful) -- what's weak and without honour about reconstructing sequence and choice, optionality and iteration, from DTDs into XML notation? > * creating a modularized XML Schema is easier than with DTDs, but > nowhere near as simple as with RNG; Where does the difficulty lie -- notation or substance? > * while a zillion useless features have been included in the spec, > anything useful such as making attributes part of the content model > has obviously been weeded out with great care, basically leaving one > with DTDs supporting namespaces, a few cardinality bits, no entities, > and loads of cruft; Identifying the cruft (sounds like point 1 above re-iterated, actually) would be helpful > * tools like XML Spy that are supposed to help one write schemata will > produce very obviously wrong instances, meanwhile the syntax of XML > Schema was obviously produced by someone who grew up at the bottom of > a deep well in the middle of a dark, wasteful moor where he was > tortured daily by abusive giant squirrels and wishes to share his > pain with the world; That's me (although _my_ moor was very conservative, not wasteful at all :-) > * the resulting schema is mostly useless anyway as there is no tool > available that will process it correctly. Really? Xerces, .NET, saxon, XSV don't count? > So my take is I'm not going to the workshop not because I don't want > to give feedback about XML Schema, but simply because XML Schema is > irrelevant. This post has made me think about the evolution of my attitude towards Java -- in parallel with the poster's experience with W3C XML Schema, after my first few Java programs I thought it was bloated, full of features I didn't want, hard to use even for simple things, and to top it off, the claims of interoperability were empirically false. Some years later the situation is changed -- I can still produce a long list of what I think is wrong with Java (although the list is not the same as it would have been at first), but I can write large Java programs with reasonable fluidity when I need to, and they tend to work pretty much the same everywhere. I think the crucial components the brought about this change were one part my increased knowledge and understanding, and two parts outside changes, in particular the availability of productivity-enhancing SDKs and reliably interoperable implementations. Four years since the launch of W3C XML Schema, I guess I think the parallels are pretty clear -- you have to invest a certain amount of real effort to get comfortable enough with the architecture of the spec so you can reliably put your hands on the right part of it for a given task; interop is much better than it was (although certainly not perfect, but for a four-year-old not bad); good SDKs are _just_ beginning to emerge. So, for me (not surprisingly), definitely half-full and still filling, not half-empty. ht -- Henry S. Thompson, HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh Half-time member of W3C Team 2 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440 Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: ht@i... URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/ [mail really from me _always_ has this .sig -- mail without it is forged spam]
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