documenting schemas/DTDs

Tim Bray tbray at
Thu Nov 18 04:44:43 GMT 1999

At 09:45 PM 11/17/99 -0600, W. Eliot Kimber wrote:

>Note that the focus must be on the *documentation*, not the
>declarations. That's because it's the documentation that counts in the
>long run. The declarations are so much syntax. Without the documentation
>the declarations are useless, but with the documentation, the
>declarations can be recreated at will. 

I reproduce Eliot's paragraph in full because it is profoundly true and 
rewards repeated reading.  DTD's and XML Schemas both are *just syntax* 
dammit, and syntax is not interesting.  XML, at the end of the day, is not 
interesting.  Messages that convey meaning are interesting.  Meaning is 
only conveyed by

 (a) running code, or
 (b) human-readable prose.

To generate (a), you have to have (b) first.

End of the story. -Tim

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