an unfilled need

David Megginson david at
Mon Sep 6 17:09:18 BST 1999

Ann Navarro writes:

 > Allowing for discovery, based on a schema, DTD, or whatever other defining
 > mechanism is provided, lets tomorrow's Web browser have that same
 > "knowledge" of a <foo> element, and any other knowledge deemed necessary or
 > prudent by those who will be using said element. 

But what would it discover?  Stylesheets can already tell you how
<foo> should be rendered in a browser.  What other kind of information
could reasonably be discovered in the general case besides structural
validation rules and possibly simple data-typing?  Neither of those is 
going to tell my application much about <foo> if it doesn't know about 
<foo> already.

 > The "rest of the world", as it were, is trying to do this
 > already. By all the misunderstandings that arise *outside of this
 > forum* about the intent and usefulness of namespaces, it should be
 > evident to everyone that there is a desire for such abilities, even
 > if the more academic of us look down on it as ill-informed.

I'm still confused about exactly what 'this' is.  *What* is the rest
of the world trying to do?  I'm not asking for a software-architect's
perspective, but just for a clear requirement.

Perhaps an example would help.  Here's an XML document (without
Namespaces for now):

  <bllrp zata="-1">
   <ttt>xxx<rte w="3"/></ttt>

Now, imagine that my XML application has just received this piece of
XML and knows nothing about the markup language used.  What kind of
information should it be able to discover automatically, so that it
can process this document usefully?

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list