A question on nomenclature

James Tauber jtauber at jtauber.com
Wed Dec 8 01:27:31 GMT 1999

> <name>
>   <first/>
>   <middle/>
>   <last/>
> </name>
> (James Tauber described this as a "schema-by-example") but what I really
> want is the name that I would call that "class" of XML documents.

In linguistic terms, you have a "grammar" defining a "language" which is
really just a set of "utterances".

In XML, a "grammar" is generally called a "schema" and an utterance is
called an "instance". So what you are asking, if I understand correctly, is
what is the term corresponding to "language".

The term most consistent with the XML 1.0 REC would probably be "document

So you would say you have a "schema" defining a "document type" which is
really just a set of "instances".

> but I don't care about that.  I'm still leaning toward "vocabulary",
> that still seems to describe it best, but I'm still open too.  (I think
> "schema" is probably correct for what I'm trying to do as well, but that
> would confuse readers with XML Schemas, which are just one type of "schema
> description language"...)

1. Yes, people get confused between a schema and a schema language and use
"schema" to mean both.

2. There is a distinction between a schema and the set of valid documents
for that schema (ie a "document type"). It is the distinction between a
grammar and the language it defines. So you could use the term "schema" for
the *definition* of the set of valid documents (whether its a DTD, a W3C XML
Schema or a schema-by-example), but the actual set of valid documents is
best called something else (like "document type").

Hope this helps

James Tauber

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

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list