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Subject: [humanmarkup] HumanML Schema Discussion Topics

Title: HumanML Schema Discussion Topics
Hi Everyone,

As of 12/19/01, our next TC meeting, we have made little progress on the basic work product of the Human Markup Language, our Basic XML Schema, during Phase 1. This is a statement of fact and is intended only to assess the current situation in preparation for some suggestions I would like to put forward for proceeding with this effort.

We have asked Len Bullard to head this part of the HumanMarkup effort as our Invited Expert, but we have given him no assistance and no guidance, nor have we asked for a formal plan to move forward with developing the Human Markup Language Schema or Schemata. So it is neither surprising that little work could be done on this main work product, nor entirely unanticipated.

A bit of recent history will be helpful to this disucssion.

With our first TC meeting scheduled for Sept. 17, 2001, our work, like that of most of the world has been effected by the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The second TC meeting on Oct. 17, 2001 coincided with the Universal Access, Collaboration Expedition Workshop #7, October 16, 2001 organized and conducted by Susan Turnbull of the GSA, at which Ranjeeth was invited to speak about the HumanMarkup effort, and his subsequent visit the following day to the Emerging Technologies Task Group Committee meeting of the xml.gov working group to which he was invited by Owen Ambur, co-chair of that working group. So, while we accomplished the basic set up of the TC in September and the first two subcommittees, and we revised our calendar for deliverables in October, formulating a more complete work plan was not possible.

A number of factors prompted us to postpone and then cancel the November TC meeting

However, we are on track to complete the first working drafts of our core documents by Dec. 31. We have two subcommittees in place and a third ready to be pursued. We have made valuable contacts in Washington, D.C. We are gathering requirements from a few of the fields for which we intend to provide Human Markup Language as an HLAL for applications which can achieve some part of our charter. So we are making some progress, albeit more slowly than we had wished.

While this particular message is not intended to be a complete year-end evaluation, I thought some assessment of the current situation was in order as background for what I want to suggest as a work plan.

Following Len's initial development of an xml toolkit schema, I think that we should produce a basic Phase 1 document: huml.xsd

This will be the first document to fill the namespace allotted for us by OASIS. I believe we can say as an official comment in this base schema, to use an adaptation of Len's first draft statement:

"For this base schema (Len used the term appropriate for his phase 0 document: first draft), all the schema types are in one schema for the ease of reference (Len used the term: production). Later, these will be broken into modules, or particular schemata (my terms) for better reuse in other languages."

I think that we should take Len's first schema toolkit and make what amendments we decide are needed in light of what we learn from a rigorous, formal evaluation of the requirements from the application areas we wish the Human Markup Language to serve. This is what we are in essence, doing anyway, but I want to formalize it.

This is separate from the Language Specification Requirements enumerated in HM.requirements from our core documents, which defines working terms for complete compatibility with W3C XML conventions.

I think we need to specify milestone dates for these requirements to be submitted by the subcommittees we have formed, or will form before the milestone dates, and any parties whose interests need to be served by the Human Markup Language, and who can submit those requirements by the milestone dates. I think we need to make this invitation-for-submission milestone date for collecting requirements public in a way that reaches the widest and most closely HumanMarkup-related audience possible. This should be done after the first of the year to avoid being lost in the barrage of public service advertising during the end-of-year holiday season. Since we don't really have the time to do it before then, this is really rather self-fulfilling, but, hey, we can say we followed our own advice, eh?

Once we have the requirements, we should ask Len to begin work with a team of volunteers that he approves according to a timetable he presents upon evaluating the requirements.

Further I think that all or most requirements submissions should be broken down into two categories, as I also think the  basic XML Schema ought to be:

1-Processing Requirements: How language operators should work. What functions are required. How is the data to be manipulated.

2-State Description Requirements: How language should model data for human mental, psychological, cultural, or other contextual states or conditions or preconditions for required elements and attributes and how should these be broken down in simpleTypes and complexTypes.

The purpose of the basic huml.xsd is to give us a basic namespace reference which can then be expanded upon in modular fashion.


Rex Brooks
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison, Berkeley, CA, 94702 USA, Earth
W3Address: http://www.starbourne.com
Email: rexb@starbourne.com
Tel: 510-849-2309
Fax: By Request

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