A Plea for Schemas

Rick Jelliffe ricko at allette.com.au
Mon Nov 1 19:18:10 GMT 1999

From: Matthew Gertner <matthew at praxis.cz>

>I totally agree. The idea of some kind of discovery mechanism for
>schemas has already been batted around this list (and I believe I heard
>something about some W3C activity starting in this area?). Getting all
>the competing approaches behind a standard schema language is a major
>prerequisite for this

I certainly agree that a discovery mechanism for schemas is needed, but
I don't agree on the importance of having a single standard schema

Every schema language is built on a zillion trade-offs. The best we can
hope for is that a schema language will be wonderful on some major
application domain and not entirely useless generally.  Would EXPRESS be
wonderful for describing TEI?  Would XML Schemas be wonderful for WAI
guidelines? Would Schematron be wonderful for VML?  Probably not.

We need the equivalent of the XML Stylesheet declaration (PI) so that
alternative schemas can be available  (perhaps with one being the
canonical schema) and so that use of a document is not dependent on
buying into a particular schema language.

Rick Jelliffe

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