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XML-L  June 2002

XML-L June 2002

Subject:

RELAX-NG and DSDL (was Re: DTD Problem)

From:

"G. Ken Holman" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 6 Jun 2002 08:19:55 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (66 lines)

At 2002-06-05 23:37 -0400, Frank Boumphrey wrote:
>Some times I think schemas v. DTD's is like religion  !

So true ... then let me be a heretic from what you've said.

> >No support for namespaces
>There is no doubt that if namespaces are important to you schemas are the
>way to go

I have such doubt.  I'm of the opinion that W3C XML Schema disenfranchised
a lot of the document-oriented community with the reliance on type
derivation instead of pattern matching.  I see it as too complex and, in
some places, just simply broken and unable to express some of the
constraints we often need to place on structured information. If it meets
the needs of data-heads then they can go ahead and use it, but for
doc-heads and web-heads I'm of the opinion RELAX-NG[1] (pronounced
"relaxing") is part of the future and is already here for us to use today.

Namespaces and datatypes are well supported with the RELAX-NG schema
language, with the added benefits of a cleaner, leaner, well-engineered,
document-oriented (patterns), simpler, and overall more powerful (much
better selection of co-occurrence constraints) document modeling language
with both an XML syntax and a text-based syntax (that reads a bit like EBNF
when you squint).

It will soon become an ISO standard as ISO/IEC 19757-2 (part 2 of DSDL -
Document Schema Definition Languages [2]), as will Schematron as part
3.  DSDL will describe a pipeline of validation processes allowing a user
to incorporate numerous technologies (including W3C XML Schema through
extension if so desired) in the detailed validation of XML content and
structure.

Free tools already exist for RELAX-NG [3].

RELAX-NG and DSDL should both become very interesting to document-oriented
users of XML.  I guess the data-heads can go and play in their own sandbox
if they wish to ... I don't want to be constrained by what they are playing
with.

I hope this helps.

................... Ken

[1] http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/relax-ng
[2] http://dsdl.org (a bit out of date; I'm responsible for
     updating the page since the work was restructured last
     week in Barcelona at the most recent international meeting;
     some of the parts are renumbered and the name was made
     plural instead of singular; should be repaired next week)
[3] http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200206/msg00107.html


--
Upcoming: 3-days XSLT/XPath and/or 2-days XSL-FO:Sep 30-Oct 4,2002
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G. Ken Holman                 mailto:[log in to unmask]
Crane Softwrights Ltd.          http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/l/
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