Lotsa laughs

Lisa Rein lisarein at finetuning.com
Wed May 26 21:28:54 BST 1999

First of all, I really do not mean to prolong this thread -- in my
opinion we've all wasted too much time and energy on what amounts to
nothing more than marketing banter as it is.  But alas, I am the current
culprit for keeping this going with my comment about XML version 1.0
non-compliance. And at this point, after the time and energy that this
response has taken me, I really would like to know if my technical
arguments hold up to you expert-types :-) so here I go:

--in summary, Didier PH Martin asked me: What did i mean when i said
that BizTalk schemas do not conform to the XML v. 1.0 Recommendation?
(citing some examples from the BizTalk site)--

As far as your references to specifics on the BizTalk site go, I am
still unable to get to those files without using IE5 - which I will get
to eventually I suppose when I build up enough microsoft site-specific
tasks to do so (how i've been handling the MS site for some time now
since it seems the company has decided to require its own browser for a
readible version of its site's content).

But let's just say for the sake of argument that the examples on the
site were well-formed XML -- my question is this:   Just because the
DOCUMENT examples they show are well-formed XML, isn't it the SCHEMAS
that would be validating those documents that would be "breaking" the
current implementations?  It was my understanding that, at this time,
any schema syntax-based validation-mechanism, by definition, does not
conform to the XML v. 1.0 Recommendation. Is this not true?

Said another way:  Since a currently-implemented, XML v. 1.0-compliant
validating parser would not be able to use a BizTalk schema to validate
documents (since BizTalk schemas use syntax that is not specified in the
version 1.0 Recommendation), wouldn't such an existing XML v.
1.0-compliant parser implementation "break" as a result, unless its
creators had also implemented whatever additional, non-standard (and
therefore proprietary) software that BizTalk requires?

Wouldn't a more "compliant" BizTalk strategy be to have BizTalk using
DTDs for now, which could then upgraded to schemas (when everyone else
upgrades to schemas) as soon as a proper XML Schema Recommendation
becomes available.  That way, developers wouldn't have to choose one
schema syntax over another (and at the expense of being incompatible
with everything else) because the schema syntaxes would all be
compatible - with each other AND early implementations that used the
BizTalk DTDs for validation.

Also, on a less technical, more practical note: Why would anyone want to
put time into using the BizTalk schemas if they know are going to just
have to redo them again when Microsoft, in good faith, changes the
BizTalk schemas over to the W3C's Schema syntax?   Or the reverse of
that would be - why would a microsoft-centric developer want to ever
bbother changing over to the proper W3C syntax if they know that
Microsoft will continue to build support for the original proprietary
syntax into their products in order to keep them all
backwards-compatible with the early implementations? (something MS
swears by)

Why doesn't MS use the closest thing it can to the W3C Schema syntax for
now, if it can't wait --rather than an undefined mishmash of two W3C
member submissions and one unfinished white paper from almost year ago?
BizTalk isn't due out till third quarter 99 -- how perfect, neither is
the XML Schema Proposed Recommendation -- how about developing the
BizTalk schemas in conjunction with the Schema Working Group at the W3C
so they are sure to match?! Hey!  THERE's an idea!

That's really what my peeve is with this whole situation.  Microsoft is
in the W3C -- it has people on the schema working group -- why continue
to develop BizTalk behind closed doors?

Sorry, again, for the long-winded response, but as you can see, I still
have trouble expressing my thoughts on some of these more technical
issues without over-articulating a bit...

thanks for putting up with me :-),


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