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XForms WD 20010608 - Instance data terminology

From: <AndrewWatt2001@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 10:09:52 EDT
Message-ID: <1e.1867c161.287f09b0@aol.com>
To: www-forms@w3.org, xforms@yahoogroups.com
I am currently pondering the terminology in the WD relating to instance data.

The instance data is said to be in the form of a tree accessible by XPath 
binding expressions. XPath refers to nodes, yet XForms refers to the "nodes" 
as "instance data items".

I suspect that the terminological fuzziness is in part an attempt to use the 
term "item" which, of course, features prominently in the XML Information Set 
specification.

I would suggest it might be better to use the term node for the in-memory 
tree "thing". :) And perhaps use instance data item for the content of the <
xform:instance> element.

Another tangential point is that instance data is defined as referring to the 
in-memory tree. Yet reference is made to submitted instance data. Might it be 
better to term this as serialized instance data, since (presumably) it is no 
longer in a tree hierarchy, but expressed in some form of XML syntax.

Finally, if the term instance data is being (is it?) applied to the default 
values, the internal representation and the XML submitted when the form has 
been filled in, is it appropriate to define instance data as an internal tree 
representation?

Unless I am not fully grasping what is intended (which is always possible) 
something doesn't seem to be hanging together fully here.

Would terms such as "serialized instance data" and "tree instance data" help? 
I don't like the latter but perhaps someone else can come up with a better 
term. Would there be sense in having "instance data items" (for serialized cf 
XForms model items) and "instance data nodes" for the XPath tree?

Andrew Watt
Received on Thursday, 12 July 2001 10:10:26 GMT

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