XML standards coherency and so forth

Jeffrey E. Sussna jes at kuantech.com
Tue Jan 12 21:36:34 GMT 1999

I don't think I'm actually talking about "patterns" here in the OO sense of the word. I simply mean that there are multiple specs that all need to deal with file system hierarchies (DRP, ICE, WebDAV) and all do it in a different way. If we instead wrote a spec for representing a file system hierarchy, and perhaps a delta against that hierarchy, then we could build specs on top of that for versioning, authoring, replication, syndication, and so forth.


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Jelliffe [mailto:ricko at allette.com.au]
Sent: Monday, January 11, 1999 6:08 PM
To: Jeffrey E. Sussna; 'XML-DEV'
Subject: Re: XML standards coherency and so forth

From: Jeffrey E. Sussna <jes at kuantech.com>

> XML is a data representation language.

Well, XML is really a data *labelling* language (i.e. markup). By taking
care of syntax, it exposes the difficult problem: how to go from mere
labels to specific representation.

> Why not start with a common representation for that content, then let
the apps expose
> different sets of operations on top of it? I think such an approach
would go a long way
> towards adding coherency between the various specs under development.

I think you are right: apart from RDF in its limited domain, there is no
movement in XML/SGML similar to the "pattern movement" in OO
programming: a movement trying to extract the fundamental structural
patterns in markup which can be used in any application.

Architectural forms and namespaces give mechanisms for making it easier
to use this approach, but they have not found archetypes. My book (XML &
SGML Cookbook) is the only attempt I know to move towards a
pattern-based way of marking up documents; Dave Megginson's "Structuring
XML Documents" has a tacet awareness of the possibility of patterns too.

Rick Jelliffe

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