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RE: [namespaceDocument-8] 14 Theses, take 2

From: David Orchard <david.orchard@bea.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 22:20:09 -0800
To: "'Dan Connolly'" <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: "'TAG'" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <007901c1b90d$7c774830$0100007f@beasys.com>
Dan,

So I read through the ARTS example to see what it was about.  I think it
completely supports my position.  It looks like they have created a number
of XML schema definitions.  They are publishing them and asking for review.
In particular, they have published the ARTS and IXRetail XML Schemas.  They
offer a testimonial of a product that implements the schema.  Please note
that they often have the unadorned word "schema" and this is interpreted to
mean XML Schema.  Now if only I had Xinclude, I could include the sections.

Example #1
"The benefits of the digital receipt are maximized by the IXRetail schema.
This standard creates a single data interface for all systems serving
retailers, consumers, manufacturers and third parties.".

Example #2 and #3
"[The ARTS and IXRetail XML-based price schemas] are available for public
review and input from retailers. The price schemas are also now available
for a pilot implementation by a leading multi-channel merchant.."

Now the ARTS web site also talk about other "products", a Unified Point of
Service.  This is an API, and never refers to the term schema.

The 3 "product"s of their efforts are a data model, xml schemas, and UPOS.
They talk about their data model, and then describe the xml schema that
defines the syntax for the data model.  Further, they interchange the terms
XML Schema, XML schema and schema to all mean the same thing, a set of XML
Schema documents.

I contend that they look at the term "schema" to means an syntactic
validation document and thus my position is supported in this example.
Further, that they make an increasingly common definition that "schema"
means an XML Schema document.

Cheers,
Dave

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-tag-request@w3.org
> [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of
> Dan Connolly
> Sent: Monday, February 18, 2002 7:32 PM
> To: David Orchard
> Cc: 'TAG'
> Subject: RE: [namespaceDocument-8] 14 Theses, take 2
>
>
> On Mon, 2002-02-18 at 16:29, David Orchard wrote:
> [...]
> > I believe we must solve this definition problem and
> document this in our
> > arch document.  We obviously have 2 camps:
> > 1) schemas are syntactic validation, and dtds/xml
> schema/relax/dcd/WSDL are
> > instances.
> > 2) schemas are any kind of definition used in
> interpretation.  This includes
> > 1) but adds in html, RDF Schema, others.  A fragment from RDF Schema
> > illustrates "Unlike an XML DTD or Schema, which gives
> specific constraints
> > on the structure of an XML document, an RDF Schema provides
> information
> > about the interpretation of the statements given in an RDF
> data model. "
> [...]
> > Is there any possibility that the proponents of option #2
> could see their
> > way to adopting schema definition #1?  I would volunteer to
> help with coming
> > up with a new term for #2.
>
> If it were that simple, I'd agree to stop using 'schema' for 2).
> But even in the case of XML schemas, I'm not sure folks
> see them as just about syntax.
>
> Tim Bray said something like "the world thinks schemas are
> for expressing syntactic constraints, so if
> we decide otherwise, we'll have to re-educate them."
>
> > I venture that every developer in my company and probably almost
> > all of our > 10 000 customers consider #1 to be the correct
> definition.
>
> That's not what I see.
>
> Visit Robin Cover's "what's new in XML" on any given day, and you'll
> find at least a handful of items like this:
>
> * [January 18, 2002]   ARTS and IXRetail Release XML Price and Digital
> Receipt Schemas for Retail Industry.     Recent announcements from the
> Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) and the
> International
> XML Retail Cooperative (IXRetail) describe the release of new XML
> schemas for use by retailers. The IXRetail digital receipt XML schema
> "provides retailers the ability to create, deliver and archive digital
> receipts using in-store point-of-sale transaction data. ..."
>
> 	-- http://www.oasis-open.org/cover/sgmlnew.html
>
> They refer to the product of their labors as 'schemas'.
> And this product is *not* just an agreement about syntax,
> as far as I can tell.
>
> In particular, if you took their schema and made a copy of
> it with a different namespace name, the syntax would be
> nearly identical -- documents conforming to it would
> have the same size and shape. But they wouldn't be
> considered documents in the same language at all.
>
> Languages are more than just syntax. When folks
> talk about schemas, they're talking about language
> definitions, including both syntax and semantics.
>
> Hmm... maybe that's a useful term or collection of terms:
>
> 	language definition -- a (written) agreement about
> 	some syntactic constructs (aka a set of documents)
> 	and what they mean.
>
> 	syntax specification -- a document that
> 	includes enough information to tell whether
> 	some other document is syntactically good or not;
> 	perhaps including enough information to make
> 	a parse tree and decorate it while you're deciding.
>
>
>
> > [...] it seems
> > important to be precise and also obey the least-astonishment rule.
>
> I completely agree. But I think the ARTS folks would be
> surprised if you told them their schemas are just about syntax.
>
> Am I completely off the mark?
>
> I don't mind reserving the term 'schema' to mean
> something syntactic in TAG use, if that's really
> the way it's used in the wild. I just wonder
> if that's the way it's used in the wild.
>
>
>
> --
> Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
>
>
>
Received on Tuesday, 19 February 2002 01:24:47 GMT

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