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Re: XML Schema usage statistics (WAS: Draft minutes of 2009-05-12 TAG weekly)

From: David Ezell <David_E3@VERIFONE.com>
Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 11:45:31 -0400
To: "noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com" <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
CC: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, "cmsmcq@w3.org" <cmsmcq@w3.org>, "holstege@mathling.com" <holstege@mathling.com>, Michael Kay <mike@saxonica.com>, "sandygao@ca.ibm.com" <sandygao@ca.ibm.com>, "ian@w3.org" <ian@w3.org>, "shh@us.ibm.com" <shh@us.ibm.com>, "ashok.malhotra@oracle.com" <ashok.malhotra@oracle.com>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, "plh@w3.org" <plh@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F7B1D738D797534F9F7EDB72F6A019BB1CDC7537D5@VFIWVEXMB2.verifone.com>
Noah wrote:
>I strongly believe that this is a question that should have been
>settled, and indeed was settled, when the working group was chartered
>with the above goals.

I'd like to add an additional data point.  The W3C held a workshop at
Oracle in Redwood shores in June of 2005.  The chairs thoughts are
recorded in the xmlschema-dev list[1].

W3M, after much deliberation over the workshop feedback, made the
decision to go ahead with XML Schema 1.1. The more important
feedback from the workshop made it clear that people wanted
the XML Schema WG to:
1) fix the underlying cause of "Unique Particle Attribution"
   violations.
2) make it easier to modify XML languages defined in XML Schema
   while supporting backward compatibility (i.e. "versioning" support).
3) support the ability to define co-constraints.
(obviously, this list is not complete.)

In essence, XML Schema 1.1 addresses the issues from the workshop.
It is therefore incremental by design.  Remaining true to XML Schema
1.0    (i.e. compatible) has been very difficult, but the results are
worth the effort.

[Note: about the term "errata".  At the workshop, items
#1 and #2 above were often referred to as errata, while #3 was
clearly a new feature (though one with widespread support).  Part
of the deliberation with W3M was over the fact that almost all of
what folks at the workshop wanted were tossed about as "errata" but
in fact would require a new version.]

>"shouldn't the W3C cancel this effort to provide incremental
>improvements to Schema 1.0, and instead start on a new, cleaner
>language?"

Unlike some other situations cited, where continued work in a given
direction might be seen as a distraction or a drain in some other way,
I can't see how XML Schema 1.1 distracts or interferes with anything.
So it's hard in this case to understand the point of cancelling it.

The community of people who use XML Schema (and that would include
ALL of the groups creating XML languages that support the retail
industry, as well has HL7, anyone using WSDL, XML Query, etc.)[2] has
wanted the features in XML Schema 1.1 since before XML Schema 1.0 was
published.  These folks, including the group I represent (NACS) have
been waiting for the "errata" addressed in XML Schema 1.1 to be fixed
for a while now.  The people who use XML Schema tend to be those
who use XML as a data transport, and who rely on XML Schema to be able
to describe the required language in a vendor neutral way (i.e. so that
you can write a "standard" specification).  That may not be all XML
users, but it is a very sizable and important chunk of them.

As to the second point, I'd say that if some group wants to take up
the "schema" problem and create something new, the W3C should entertain
that if there is interest.

>To change the goals of an effort like this now is not only counter
>to the letter of the W3C process, it's hugely disruptive both in this
>particular case and as a precedent.  There's no way that people like
>me are going to devote years to working in the W3C, toward agreed goals,
>if at the end we say: never mind, those weren't the goals.

Unfortunately, this kind of disruption must happen sometimes.  But to allow
it to happen when there is no clear or compelling reason[3] damages all of
us in different ways, especially when it's obvious that people are already
willing to take the time to implement the spec in question.

The XML Schema WG has worked hard to address all queries and criticisms
with which it has been presented to the best of its knowledge and ability,
and we've done our best to follow the process and achieve consensus in the
interested communities.  We have not ignored commenters in any case.

In my mind, we have largely succeeded here.

Best regards,
David Ezell, Chair
XML Schema WG

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/xmlschema-dev/2005Jul/0017.html
[2] I'm not trying to imply that all of these groups want all of
    what's available in XML Schema 1.1.  But it's likely that all them
    would like some of it, and that "some" is not a constant set.
[3] The director obviously has to decide what is clear or compelling.
    I'm only saying that in my opinion I can no reason that satisfies
    the "clear and compelling" rationale.
Received on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 15:49:19 GMT

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