(Many) XML Schema Questions

Andrew Layman andrewl at microsoft.com
Wed Dec 29 20:11:12 GMT 1999

What was said by Rick Jeliffe regarding the current schema draft is true
(and anyone who is interested is recommended to red the actual XML Schema WD
at http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlschema-1/ and http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlschema-2/.)

However, I would like to correct a possible misimpression that might arise
from the turgid wording in the current public draft and also from Rick's
statement "Then (s4.3.2) there is an attribute xsi:schemaLocation that can
be put on any instance element. It allows the location of the schema to be
declared. ..."  

After extensive debate, the XML Schemas WG decided that the
xsi:schemaLocation attribute serves as a hint, not a mandatory directive.
That is, the processor of an instance is welcome to look at the URI
referenced by the value of xsi:schemaLocation, but is not required to.  It
may process an instance document using a different schema set (or no schemas
at all).  The relevant phrase is "unless directed otherwise" in the
following passage from the 1999-12-17 structures draft:

"Again, unless directed otherwise general-purpose schema-aware processors
must attempt to dereference each schema URI in the value of "schemaLocation"
to obtain a schema..."

This is in recognition of the fact that, ultimately, the processor of a
document determines what processing is done.

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