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Data models?

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 13:03:43 -0700
To: "WAI Guidelines WG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <LHEGJAOEDCOFFBGFAPKBAEEGCJAA.chas@munat.com>
In checkpoint 1.3 we refer to data models. What exactly do we mean by this?

My guess is we mean "any method by which structure is defined other than
markup." So "data model" is a catch-all, or, as I mentioned in the telecon,
an "equivalent."

We could use "equivalent" instead:

1. the hierarchical structure of the content is unambiguously represented in
the markup or equivalent.

But that's a bit too general for my taste.

So do we have any examples of instances where structure is encoded in
something other than markup?

One obvious one (to me) is when content is stored in a database. Some user
agents might be able to pull this content out without any associated markup.
In this instance, the data model of the database would provide the structure
for the data. But this is a long way off from what we think of when we talk
about structure in a Web page.

What about content in XML? If I am creating not only the content, but an
XML-based grammar for markup, then it is important that my XML-based grammar
reflect the structure inherent in the content. So am I referring to a schema
when I say "data model"?

Schema can also be used WRT databases. If the above example were written:

1. the hierarchical structure of the content is unambiguously represented in
the markup or schema.

Would this better reflect what we're trying to say?

Is it possible to encode content structure into a script? How would this be
addressed? I like data model because I have a pretty good feel for what we
mean (though I obviously can't articulate it). But I doubt that others are
going to have the same feel for it. We need something a bit clearer.

Thoughts anyone?

Chas. Munat
Received on Friday, 24 August 2001 16:01:23 GMT

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