Re: Caution using XML Schema backward- or forward-compatibilit
I think that both "semantic" and "compatible" are problematic terms. What is "compatibility"? Is it breakage to a system or pain experienced by a user? Is it something else? Defining "compatible" too narrowly and too technically makes the word useless because it causes too many changes to be defined as non-compatible, and presumably we need the identification of "non-compatible" changes to drive some action. The usual use of the term compatible suggests that validation is more important than processing.
There is a change case that has not been talked about, and that is where a schema is used as the basis for another schema or is incorporated into another schema. This has a different set of sources of pain than changes to XML documents because the impact of a schema change may not alter the documents that are produced but is likely to impact the schemas that incorporate it. It seems that there is a different (and more useful) set of meanings of the term "compatible" in that use-case.
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