No Standard way to reference XML Schema? Was Re: (Many) XML Schema Questions

Bob Kline bkline at
Thu Dec 30 22:32:44 GMT 1999

On Thu, 30 Dec 1999, Andrew Layman wrote:

> I must side here with Henry's argument.  The schemas specification
> provides a standard way that a document author can indicate a
> specific schema set that he warrants the document conforms to, and
> it also provides a standard set of rules related to the application
> of several schemas comprising that schema set.  This is an entirely
> useful facility to have.
> However, the existence of such a warrant in a document does not
> obligate a processing application to use the asserted schemas. [....]

It seems that some confusion has slipped into this discussion about the
roles of the application and the XML processor.  The same distinction
between these two applies in this context as for the XML specification
itself.  In Tim Bray's words:

    While this spec constrains some behaviors of an XML processor,
    it places no constraints on the application.  This is an
    important point; it would be inappropriate (note to mention
    futile) for this document to try to enforce what other people
    *do* with XML."  

      - "The Annotated XML Specification" (c) 1988 Tim Bray

No one is looking for constraints on what applications do with XML.  No
one is trying to prevent extensions to XML processors for doing useful
processing of which the authors of the specification may not have even
dreamed.  What we are hoping for is a standard mechanism for specifying
the schema against which a conforming XML processor will validate an XML
instance (which is, after all, the original reason the XML schema
specification was created).

Bob Kline
mailto:bkline at

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