words (RE: extensibility in XSchema?)

Peter Murray-Rust peter at ursus.demon.co.uk
Thu Jun 25 06:22:53 BST 1998

At 13:47 23/06/98 +0800, James K. Tauber wrote:
>I take it that by the latter you mean action and behaviour. Or do you

If these terms are standardised, then yes I do. probably. But I got the
impression that they aren't completely standardised

>include linking to ontologies as machine meaning?

If the ontologies are read by a machine, then it's a machine meaning.
Example: I have hacked SI units into XML. This is an ontological problem
and not just a semantic one [e.g. what units are mg/kg? - please don't
reply to this list :-)]. The resulting glossary is then used *by a machine*
to convert units in a document. 

>Of the top of my head (thinking aloud as always), these are the sorts of
>things one might want to say about the class of things (say elements)
>labelled FOO.
>1. what FOOs can contain
>2. where FOOs can be
>3. what FOOs look like when presented
>4. what FOOs do when the user does something
>5. what an application is to do when it gets a FOO.
>6. what other labels people use for FOOs.
>7. what people mean by FOO.
>I'm sure there are others.

I like this. Some convergence on this would be extremely useful for me - if
not for others. For example, I have the following builtin procedures in
JUMBO for any element:
[3] display() = onClick(). Can take several arguments (e.g.
display(Graphics g);
[4] isLink() = resolve xml:link or whatever it is now called. Use onClick()
for SHOW.
[5] process() = apply recursive process() to subtree. 
[5a] isValid() = apply semantic validation

>Some of these are clearly syntax. Some are semantics. Some are something
>else we are trying to come up with a name for. (note that they are related:
>the meaning of an element will generally determine its content model but
>that doesn't make semantics and syntax the same thing).
>I would tend to use 'syntax' for 1 and 2, 'presentation' or 'style' for 3,
>'behaviour' for 4, 'action' for 5, and 'semantics' for 6 and 7. To avoid
>'semantics', I might use 'thesaurus' in the context of 6 and 'meaning' for
>I would then go on to say that one can 'bind' a particular label to one or
>more of these, eg bind FOO to a particular syntax, bind FOO to a particular
>style, bind FOO to a particular action, etc.

I think this is worth pursuing. Is it worth trying to get a small, tight
list here?


Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
net connection
VSMS http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms, Virtual Hyperglossary

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