Megginson and XMLNews

Walter Underwood wunder at
Tue Apr 13 19:26:55 BST 1999

At 06:53 PM 4/12/99 -0700, David Megginson wrote:
>Walter Underwood writes:
> > I expect to ship our next release pre-configured for NITF,
>That's wonderful.
> > but I sure would like to see some common practice beyond <title>.
> > Mostly, our customers would appreciate it, and the people doing
> > searches would get better results.
>Actually, I think that you need something a little more robust --
>otherwise, we'll end up with a hodge-podge of rules for what element
>names people can and cannot use.  I would not want to forbid someone
>from using something like this:
>  <?xml version="1.0"?>
>  <person>
>   <title>Dr.</title>

Right, though documents (as opposed to datafiles in XML) nearly
always have something like:

  <title>List of Contributors</title>

before the other uses of title. I see this a lot in bibliographies.
This is a statistical bet, but then, half of information retrieval
is statistics, so I'm used to playing that game (the other half
is human behavior, both in authors and searchers).

>Universal names (as in "Namespaces in XML") get you part way there,
>because different document types can share semantics of well-known
>element types:

It probably gets us all the way there if the elements are used
the same way. This doesn't require any formal equivalence between
names, just a convention that things named the same work the
same. In other words, a SmallTalk object protocol is sufficient
here; there is no necessity for Java's Interface type. Other tools
may find that useful, but it is not necessary for search engines.

This is very similar to the XLink approach, that is, write the
linking parts of your DTD like this. Search engines need XLink,
too, of course.

A convention for a Dublin Core namespace, plus a robots tag,
would be just peachy, if people actually used it. For example:

  <dc:title>Helping Your Child Learn History</dc:title>
  <dc:creator>Wrisley Reed, Elaine</dc:creator>
  <dc:description>Activities that adults can do with their children 
  to help them learn history from the every day world around them.  
  Provides resources, local and national resources, and activities 
  for children aged 4-11.Sections include: History Education Begins 
  at Home; The Basics of History; Activities: History as Story;  
  Activities: History as Time; and much more</dc:description>
  <dc:subject>Social Studies</dc:subject>  
  <dc:subject>Informal Education</dc:subject>
  <tba:robots>index, nofollow</tba:robots>

That would be wonderful.

Walter R. Underwood
wunder at
wunder at (home) (my product)

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list