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Subject: RE: [office] Clarification re: DSDL and W3C Schema

One reflection on the DTD/Relax/W3C Schema debate:

We seem to be assuming that we will need to perform an automated (and
probably imperfect) transformation from a normative syntax into others that
people may want to use in their own implementations. We could, of course,
use any notation we like for the normative expression of the specification,
so long as it unambiguously defines the XML structures in the open office
format. We could then publish implementations as DTD/Relax/W3C Schema,etc
with comments where necessary on how each syntax does (or does not) support
what we have defined.

As far as I can see there is no necessity to define an automated
transformation from our specification to any given format. Our problem is
(almost) the same one that has been faced by activities such as UBL and HL7
(for those of you interested in a far bigger manifestation of the problem in
the healthcare domain). The problem is that XML schema languages (I think
all of them, but I someone may want to correct me) are not rich enough to
specify the logical information models required in those specifications.

The only thing that we definitely need to do is make sure our specification
is complete and unambiguous in itself. We can then add examples of
syntax-specific implementations to help people implement their own
applications, but these aren't normative and (almost certainly) won't be
generated 100% automtically from the specification itself.


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