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Re: Relax NG Projects

walter kriha
Hi David,

many thanks for your lecuture notes. I ran an XML class for print
engineers and oder media specialist this term and decided to use DTDs
for all the practical work (e.g. modelling a catalog etc.) and of course
for all docbook related things.

But I also had to cover XML Schema because there is now a large industry
schema available for the printing industry. It is called "Job Definition
Format" and covers e-business items (order processing, pricing),
workflow (how to split print jobs across machines or even print
companies and device control (colors etc.). It is very complicated, uses
lots of data typing, inheritance and I have to admit that I did not
understand the XML Schema use behind it completely.

Still, XML Schema seems to be quite natural for this application. But
note, this schema won't be used by authors. Instead, machines will use
it to exchange information and programmers need to learn it.

DTD use on the other side worked nicely with all things related to
authoring of documents for publishing (docbook stuff).

But when we modelled our catalog we noticed that there seems to be a
gray area between the power of XML Schema and the ease of use of DTDs
which can and must be understood by authors. We would have liked a bit
more data typing, the ability to express exact numbers of elements etc.
But we would like to retain the authors ability to understand AND
possibly change the schema or create a new model

So next term I am going to try 2 things:
- use XML Schema in a "simple mode" for publishing. Get a feeling how
hard it is for modeling something that is not related to programming.
- use Relax NG and see if it helps in this grey zone between pure
publishing and programmatic use of XML documents.

And I don't think the question is about students understanding XML
Schema or Relax NG or DTDs: it is about authors needing a 
simple but still powerful syntax to create, change and use document
models. An activity that is different from modelling programmatic use of
XML and which might require different syntax and features. But I will
give XML Schema at least a chance in the authoring area as well.

Again, thanks and have a nice day,

Walter Kriha

"J. David Eisenberg" wrote:
> For those who are interested in teaching Relax NG:
> I've been teaching a beginning XML course at De Anza College
> (http://www.deanza.fhda.edu/). I made a decision to teach Relax NG instead
> of XML Schema, mostly because I didn't want the students' heads to
> explode.
> Some of their midterm projects are on display at
> http://catcode.com/rng_projects/
> The lecture notes for the course are at http://catcode.com/cis97yt/
> and the Relax NG portion is the second half of lecture 2, and all of
> lectures 3, 4, and 5.
> --
> J. David Eisenberg  http://catcode.com/
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