A New Hope (was Re: Storing Lots of Fiddly Bits (was Re: What is XML for?))

spreitze at parc.xerox.com spreitze at parc.xerox.com
Mon Feb 8 18:04:49 GMT 1999

> HyTime lets you label edges too... The
> question is, should such labelling be part of the language at the
> lexical level (which XML deals with) or a further layer.

The nature of XML instances is fairly fixed now; the nature of XML schemas is being designed as we speak.  I willing to conceive of an XML schema language that can express schemas against a higher-level data model, plus a mapping of that data model into XML instances.

> It is the old
> tradeoff that a general purpose system will (probably) be worse at any
> specific task than a specific system.

I didn't think we were debating whether XML instances or schemas will be general purpose --- of course they will!  That's beside the point of what level(s) of abstraction and representation will be addressed by those formalisms.

> But Mike's comments do betray a wish that XML operated on
> some other level than the strictly lexical: but it doesn't, except by
> chance.

I think I've heard a number of people use the term "XML" to describe a data model independent of textual expression (and others tell them they're wrong).  It's the richness of that data model (and/or its textual expressions) that I'm addressing.  We've already lost the battle for XML instances; for schemas, the outcome is as yet undetermined.

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