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Subject: RE: [legalxml-econtracts] XHTML 2.0 issues

What do you mean by signature blocks?

> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: [legalxml-econtracts] XHTML 2.0 issues
> From: "Peter Meyer" <pmeyer@elkera.com.au>
> Date: Mon, August 16, 2004 7:13 am
> To: "Legalxml-Econtracts TC" <legalxml-econtracts@lists.oasis-open.org>
> Hi folks,
> Some points on XHTML 2.0, as discussed at the last meeting.
> 1. Background, why we chose XHTML 2
> 1.1 Some of us could not agree on a completely new structural markup model.
> 1.2 XHTML 2 introduces a structural model into HTML using recursive section
> containers and p containers.
> 1.3 This motivated some of us to think that it would provide a close enough
> starting point for contract markup.
> 1.4 XHTML 2 seemed attractive because it is XHTML and would be an easier
> sell to developers than an entirely new schema.
> 1.5 It was perceived as an advantage of XHTML 2 that it would make it easier
> to transform eContracts for web publishing.
> 1.6 Some of us believed (and still believe) that straight XHTML 2 markup was
> too loose to be useful and that we must strip it down to a simple model to
> make it easy for authors, easier for application developers and useful for
> content management and document production.
> 1.7 For my part, I promoted XHTML 2 on the basis that it should give us a
> markup model based on one that would become fairly familiar in the
> marketplace over the next few years, that we could shape to our needs and
> that this would give us a marketing advantage we would not enjoy with an
> entirely new schema. In summary, the advantages of XHTML 2.0 for me were
> more marketing than technical.
> 2. What we have learned
> 2.1 A strict version of the section and p markup is capable of meeting our
> clause model needs, although its not perfect. For example:
>  (a) HTML lists are not suited to real documents that require flexible
> numbering schemes
>  (b) Some aspects are not well thought out, such a the l element.
> At this level we could use something that is a subset of XHTML 2.0. An
> eContracts schema could not accept most XHTML 2 markup but it would be easy
> to go the other way.
> 2.2 XHTML 2 does not have an obvious way of providing the high level
> structure found in contracts. We are faced with either using (over using)
> the div element or inventing new elements. There is disagreement about how
> many are needed and the design approach required.
> 2.3 Some new inventions are essential, including signature blocks but there
> are differences about how to design markup for these.
> 2.4 There seem to be some strong differences within the TC about the meaning
> of generic structural markup, the need to support human authoring of
> contracts using XML editors and the role of XML in "the contract".
> 2.5 There seems to be some support for implementation of our own namespace.
> 3. What do we need from XHTML 2?
> 3.1 Do we need strict conformance to XHTML 2? I suggest this is not
> particularly important. Its an unnecessary straight jacket and we should use
> it only while its convenient. Most of the benefits will flow if we can keep
> to the section and p markup that has some prospect of becoming familiar to a
> fairly wide community, particularly if other legal and business document
> markup standards use a similar schema.
> 3.2 Do we need XHTML 2 to publish eContracts on the web? Increasingly, any
> XML markup can be rendered on the web using style sheets. The use of XHTML
> markup may make this a bit easier but in the vast majority of contract
> documents this may not be very important.
> 3.3 It is not clear what else we really need from XHTML 2.0 or how closely
> we should stay within its constraints.
> 4. Conclusions
> 4.1  The critical issue is that the schema we adopt or develop should meet
> the needs of the proposed standard. At this stage, these needs are
> insufficiently defined for us to be able to resolve the issues, such as
> those mentioned in 2.4 above, that have been with us since formation of the
> TC and for years before in the old Legal XML.
> 4.2 Until we complete the requirements process we will not be able to
> resolve the outstanding issues about the use of XHTML 2.
> regards
> Peter Meyer
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list (and be removed from the roster of the OASIS TC), go to http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/legalxml-econtracts/members/leave_workgroup.php.

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