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Subject: RE: [legalxml-comment] Draft UBL Naming Standards

Hi John,

I presented a similar view to a few folks at the Glasser Legalworks

I'm in accord with the need to create a standard data dictionary that
unifies the LegalXML standards initiatives and I'm familiar with the UBL
Arofan paper.

Its an issue we'll need to address shortly as part of the new OASIS
Technical Committee's that replace the old Work Groups.

John, thanks for raising this important issue and researching the



-----Original Message-----
From: John McClure [mailto:hypergrove@olympus.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 7:59 PM
To: legalxml-courtfiling-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org
Cc: legalxml-comment@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [legalxml-comment] Draft UBL Naming Standards

As mentioned in a previous posting, I believe LegalXML needs to revisit
-- from an organizational view -- the naming standards we REQUIRE going
forward. I stated before it's a good idea to follow UBL, since it's not
only the XML implementation of ebXML (now
UN/CEFACT) but it's an OASIS working group... In this regard, I've
attached an early version of the UBL naming standards (the Arofan
paper) for XML elements and attributes. There, the policy is that all
UBL element names for object classes are to be in UpperCamelCase with
"leaf elements" in lowerCamelCase. This stands in contrast to LegalXML's
current naming convention, which I understand is that _all_ elements are

The Arofan paper explicitly calls for a "Dictionary" while it raises
issues beyond naming standards worth considering, in particular XML
element/attribute names v. object/property names. As you know, this is
the arena that I have been looking at closely for awhile now. However, I
have concluded that RDF Schema is a better solution for representing a
dictionary because RDF supports multiple inheritance while XML Schema
does not. XML Schema is somewhat comparable to going back to a world
organized around relational tables, albeit their source data is arranged
hierarchically. In effect, the UBL grafts OO onto XML Schema, while RDF
starts with OO classes and properties, and provides the tools to
accommodate the requirements met by XML Schema. [You may have noticed
that XML Schema is being bashed universally as "too complex" --
prompting the desire within many quarters to go to the "stripped-down"
language called RELAX-NG.] Because RDF is not trying to define an
on-the-wire protocol of elements and attributes, RDF is able to
standardize that attributes are to be viewed the same as those XML
elements that represent properties of an object, meaning that <Elem
foo='x'> is the same as <Elem><foo>x</foo> -- this simplifies standards
efforts such as ours because it means we only define data models, not
XML protocols, as our primary item of work.

So, while I disagree with UBL's proposal to represent their Dictionary
in XML Schema, I do suggest that we look hard at adopting their naming
standards. Thanks, John McClure

PS I've posted an RDF dictionary (with an XSL stylesheet for viewing)
for 8 document-types at www.dataconsortium.org/documents.html.
The package there includes a nifty (alpha-version) Javascript "DCN
Editor" that manages the input of data to any HTML <span>, <div>, <td>,
etc. element -- using the contents of an RDF dictionary to get the
information it needs to perform field-level formatting before and
validation after data entry. I am planning this kind of presentation of
LegalXML material, albeit using the UpperCamelCase convention. Also,
I've begun the XSL stylesheets that convert an RDF dictionary into
either a DTD or an XML Schema. Comments off-line please.

Position Paper: Code Lists (Eve Maler)
Position Paper: Elements versus Attributes (Gunther Stuhec) Position
Paper: Modularity, Namespaces and Versioning (Bill Burcham) Position
Paper: Definition of Elements, Attributes and Types (Mark Crawford,
Arofan Gregory, Eve Maler)

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