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Re: Approaching an XML syntax for RIF

From: Christian de Sainte Marie <csma@ilog.fr>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 13:42:52 +0100
Message-ID: <45BF3D4C.5070908@ilog.fr>
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
CC: Dave Reynolds <der@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, public-rif-wg@w3.org

Sandro Hawke wrote:

>>First, it looses, or at least weakens, the extensibility. For example if 
>>your class currently only has one property so you stripe skip and then 
>>some extension dialect adds a subclass with a new property you can't 
>>stripe skip in the extension. That breaks the forward compatibility.
> 
> I'm assuming, I think, that one will always use the most specific class
> information available.  It would be incorrect to use the name of the
> superclass as the tag when serializing the subclass.    Does that not
> solve the problem?    (I might need to work through some more examples
> here.) 

What if the extension adds a property to a class that had only one?

Dialect:
   class Toto
      property titi: string

Extension:
   class Toto
      property titi: string
      property tutu: integer

Dialect would serialize <Toto>xyz</Toto> where Extension would have
<Toto>
   <titi>xyz</titi>
</Toto>

(Btw, a minor remark: it is kind of shocking for those used to 
object-oriented notations that the name of the XML element, which tags 
instances, is the same as the name of the class... <toto>xyz</toto> 
where 'toto' is an element of type Toto would be better, from that point 
of view).

>>The cost of not stripe skipping is a little more verboseness but to me 
>>that's an acceptable price in the XML format.
> 
> *shrug* I'm pretty ambivalent myself.  I think stripe skipping is cool,
> but it may not be warranted for RIF, where the XML is going to be almost
> impossible for humans to read no matter what we do.  I'm curious to see
> if there will be WG members who have strong needs in one direction or
> the other.   It may be we just need to flip a coin.

I agree with Dave. Verbosity may be a problem, but that is more with 
respect to the size of a RIF document than human-readibility, and I am 
not sure that stripe-skipping can help much here (I mean, when you have 
hundreds or thousands of complex rules to interchange)...

Do we have to take that into account? I suppose that this kind of 
problem is handled by the Efficient XML Interchange WG, isn't it?

>>By the way, if neatness of the XML is an issue then there is a different 
>>trivial simplification possible: use an attribute for any property which 
>>takes a single literal value (name, ref etc).

Shouldn't neatness be the burden of pretty printers (that is, rather 
than ours)?

Christian
Received on Tuesday, 30 January 2007 12:44:50 GMT

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