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Subject: Re: [relax-ng] Re: DOM Abstract Schemas revisited

James Clark wrote:
>>My point is:  It is not yet too late for the RNG TC to influence the
>>AS process.  If we ask for a few things such as "interleave" and
>>wildcarded names to be added to AS, we can get a model which can,
>>with some creaking and groaning, support RNG.   Not every detail
>>of RNG, but AS doesn't support every detail of DTDs or W3CXS either.
> Right. Which is what makes me question the utility of the AS-editing parts 
> of the DOM AS. Abstracting document-guided editing so that it can be done 
> independently of the type of schema makes good sense. However, the whole 
> idea of providing an interface for editing a schema that is independent of 
> the type of schema seems misconceived to me.  It is very useful for a user 
> to have an API that that allows them to load a schema, edit it and save it 
> out. But it has to get the details the right.  It cannot mangle the schema: 
> it has to preserve definitions, overriding, annotations, file structure, 
> etc.  It seems to me that the net result of the abstraction in the 
> AS-editing parts of the DOM AS is an interface that doesn't support editing 
> any type of schema in a useful way.  What's the use of a DTD-editing API 
> that expands all parameter entity references?

I may have missed something, but I have not understood the AS spec in 
this way :) ...

I think that when they write about editing AS schemas, they mean 
"editing (AS schemas)" ie an API to edit a new kind of beast called an 
AS schema and do not pretend to provide an abstract API to edit any kind 
of schema.

In other words, they have created a new class of schemas (AS schemas) 
which should potentially be a target for different schema languages. The 
processing model is to create your AS from your schema and there is no 
way back (since they do not want to catch the details which would be 
needed for a roundtrip). The AS will then live its own live, a API is 
provided to edit it and save it (still as an AS schema, not as an 
"actual" schema) and another API is provided to use this to edit document.

It's less ambitious than what you mention, but this might be a reason 
why it could work if people find it usefull for what it has been 
designed for.

> Even if the DOM AS could be made to support RELAX NG, that along wouldn't 
> automatically allow users to edit RELAX NG schemas.  Somebody would still 
> have to implement the API for RELAX NG.  And if somebody was going to go to 
> the effort of implementing a schema-editing capability for RELAX NG, 
> wouldn't they want to provide an API that did it in a useful way and got 
> the details right?

Again, it's not (IMO) a API to edit schemas in their original forms, but 
a API to edit documents and Abstract Schemas.

> I would note that Microsoft provides already provides an API specific to 
> editing W3C XML Schemas.
> http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/cpref/html
> /frlrfSystemXmlSchema.asp
> Because it avoids the pseudo-abstraction of DOM AS, it's much, much better 
> in my view.  I think RELAX NG users would be much better served by 
> something for RELAX NG similar to this.  But we are certainly not going to 
> get such a thing from the DOM WG.

These are 2 different beasts and both are needed!


> James
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See you in Seattle.
Eric van der Vlist       http://xmlfr.org            http://dyomedea.com
http://xsltunit.org      http://4xt.org           http://examplotron.org

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