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RE: Marketplace XML Vocabularies

  • From: "Jim Tivy" <jimt@bluestream.com>
  • To: "'Liam Quin'" <liam@w3.org>,"'Costello, Roger L.'" <costello@m...>
  • Date: Sun, 3 Jan 2010 11:29:49 -0800

RE:  Marketplace XML Vocabularies

"meaning in XML documents is "extrinsic".  Perhaps it would be safer to say
that meaning is extrinsic to eXtensible Markup Language - although some may
argue that even XML constrains expression.
I do not believe, however, that meaning is extrinsic to instances of XML
that conform to XML vocabularies (XML documents)

The distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic is useful, however it is
important to emphasis that different vocabularies of XML (and their
documents) contain meaning intrinsically more or less (not zero meaning) The
meaning these vocabularies carry may more or less cannote or denote usage,
or, in the case of a programming language like XSLT codified in XML, the XML
is most often passed through an XSLT processor that renders an outcome
defined by the formal semantics specification of that vocabulary.

Each XML vocabulary is different and XSLT carries more intrinsic meaning
whereas XHTML carries less.  In vocabularies like XHTML alot of the meaning
is contained in the text() nodes and is given meaning by the language
contained theirin.

I would argue that the use and meaning of XSLT Xml is intrinsic to the XSLT
XML itself.  This is not to say I could not use XQuery on some XSLT
documents to count how many time the <xsl:if> tag was used.

This discussion also touches on controversies such as should there be an XML
representation for languages like XQuery or Java...


-----Original Message-----
From: Liam Quin [mailto:liam@w3.org] 
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2009 4:36 PM
To: Costello, Roger L.
Cc: 'xml-dev@lists.xml.org'
Subject: Re:  Marketplace XML Vocabularies

On Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 08:25:51AM -0500, Costello, Roger L. wrote:

> 1. What are the requirements for an XML vocabulary to find presence in the
> marketplace? Must the XML vocabulary have both standardized meaning and
> behavior? 

"Meaning" is a difficult word, but the important thing to remember is
that meaning in XML documents is "extrinsic" -- it's imposed on the
XML documents by applications.  This is different from (say) RDF,
where the meaning is "intrinsic" and is considered to be hard-wired
into the document.  (There's a bit of a conflict when you consider
that the only standard way to interchange RDF uses XML, but I digress).

XML documents do not, strictly speaking, have "behaviour". Again,
behaviour is imposed on the documents by appliations - e.g. I've
seen different programs do totally different things with the
same SVG document, such as producing a list of colours used, or
extracting the text and replacing it with a translated version,
even though the SVG spec says a circle is a circle...  The
document doesn't move, or behave, the application does.

Framk Romano once said (at a multimedia conference),
    "The printed word isn't dead.
     It just looks that way because it doesn't move."

AN XML vocabulary is the same in terms of marketplace as any other
technology -
(1) enabling - you can do something you couldn't do before
(2) improving - you can make something better than before
(3) facilitating - it makes a process easier or faster or cheaper


Liam Quin, W3C XML Activity Lead, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
http://www.holoweb.net/~liam/ * http://www.fromoldbooks.org/


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