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Re: Standardized Apache DTD

From: Chris Riley <riley@info-tools.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 13:32:04 +0000
Message-ID: <3885BCD3.67CF607F@info-tools.com>
To: www-rdf-config@w3c.org
Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> rfi from Rich Roth wrote:
> >
> > Why ?  Not why XML based but why create a DTD.
> >
> > Coming at it from the rdf-conf/gui-dev group discussions and now being
> > involved in a XML based VL-database project (100/1000 of megs per month per
> > customer) - we have not being using DTD's.
>
> Right, we want to use XSchema.

I think there may be some confusion over the vocabulary more than anything
else.  A DTD (XSchema, RDF or anything else) provides two important
capabilities, a well defined published interface and a means to validate the
instance data.  In an environment where data integrity is controlled by some
other means ( api, etc...) then the overhead of developing and maintaining a DTD
and implementing a validating parser may not be worth the benefits it produces.

On the other hand, if the goal is to produce an environment where custom
applications can be developed independently, then a content based DTD describing
the data model and it's constraints is core.  For example, httpd.conf (apache
configuration instance) contains mandatory, optional and conditional data. To
construct an environment where multiple independent applications access and
modify this instance, structural constraints are required to maintain the
integrity of the instance.  A standardize API is one way to do this, but it's
interface is not as accessible as a DTD. Here is where the work done with XML
parsers provide tremendous advantages.

>
>
> > XML is very functional as a standard representation WITHOUT requiring a DTD
> > - you get the benefits of all the work in XML parsers and rendering without
> > having to lock in a data description when the situation is not ready.
>
> Right.

I disagree.  In the case where underlying technologies are evolving, the best
course of action is a layered approach.  Many parts of an Apache configuration
are easily modeled and could provide immediate benefits, others may have to be
deferred until the underlying technologies mature.  I believe the 80/20 rule
applies here, 20 percent of the functionality will probably take 80 percent of
the effort, but that is no reason for not dealing with the 80 percent.

>
>
> > Also, please keep the GUI-DEV list apprised of your work so we can added it
> > to the work-in-progress listgins.
>
> I will.

Absolutely,
Chris

>

>
> --
> Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
>                           able to give birth to a dancing star.
> <stefano@apache.org>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
>  Come to the first official Apache Software Foundation Conference!
> ------------------------- http://ApacheCon.Com ---------------------
Received on Wednesday, 19 January 2000 08:17:02 EST

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