NOT SML but XML-for-data and business

Shaw Tim tshw at
Wed Dec 1 14:23:51 GMT 1999

I am an Application tool/framework developer/integrator. I sit (sort of)
half-way between XML Parser-writers and XML tool-vendors.

I developed a pseudo-DOM system, using the DocumentHandler mechanism of any
available SAX parser, which creates 'lightweight' DOM objects specifically
designed for data-processing. The DOM objects implement the required
interface, but not all of the methods 'do' things. Another set of interfaces
provides a 'data-oriented' view on the DOM structures (and it is this which
the lwDOM is optimised for). This allows me to use DOM-based tools (XSLT
etc), but removes the neccessity for programmers to learn/use the DOM

I see XML Schema (among other things) as providing great opportunities in
this domain - data-types/constraints/ranges etc., but I don't have a clear
view of how this will be integrated.

I have 3 immediate questions (not all of which need to be answered at once
:-) :
1) how are the (real) XML developers approaching XML Schema? Will it be
transparent to applications, and just constrain the data as per DTD's or
will the meta-data be available - if so, in what form?
2) given the fragmentation of DTD definitions in any given market (mine
particularly with FpML, FIXML, FinML, BizTalk etc.) is anyone addressing
general tools for mapping between these - and what are the issues that are
being tackled?
3) are there any discussions going on about how to map between different
formats programatically? I can imagine RDF being used, but then there needs
to be agreement on meta-meta-data(!) - and I can't imagine (see 2 above)
people agreeing on anything much when it's a core business differentiator
(read tie-in/revenue opportunity) to have a proprietary format.

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