Compound DTDs

jamsden at jamsden at
Wed Jan 6 18:30:10 GMT 1999

Perhaps XSL style sheets can play a role in combining XML documents having
similar semantics but different tag names and structure. Consider for
example two XML documents that describe something about a particular
e-business segment, but use a different DTD. One could write an XSL style
sheet that translated each of these documents into a third document that
contained the desired elements from both expressed in perhaps some new
structure. The style sheet could change element and attribute names,
restructure or re-order content, etc.

Something similar could be applied to DTDs if they used XML syntax. Then
style sheets could be used to handle the namespace problem as well as to
merge the definitions from multiple DTDs into some new, composite DTD. This
could remove some of the barriers that prevent common document languages
from being developed, or allowing unavoidable variability between document
languages in business segments. For example, a document language for health
care might be used by the insurance industry in a manner quite different
than it was originally intended. To require the developers of the health
care document language to consider the requirements of other, future
stakeholders may inhibit the development of a document language they can
immediately leverage. By allowing variability and using XSL to translate
documents to meet current needs, document language developers gain freedom
and flexibility that comes from keeping things independent and separate,
while document reuse is still enabled. These translator style sheets could
be published as adjuncts to document languages to convert them to other
document languages.

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