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RE: [REVISED] My user experience of the user experience workshop

From: Steven Ericsson-Zenith <steven@semeiosis.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005 13:35:50 -0700
To: Arthur Ryman <ryman@ca.ibm.com>
Cc: <paul.downey@bt.com>, mike@saxonica.com, steven@semeiosis.com, www-xml-schema-comments@w3.org
Message-Id: <1120854950.6197@memeiosys.com>

I agree with Authur absolutely. It is not too late IMHO for a formal 
spec of XSD or XML to be written.  Especially since we fully expect 
these standards to exist for many decades to come. Although I am not
a particular fan of Zed, it is the obvious place to start.

I am also concerned that there is insufficient mathematical basis -
a formal spec really does not help you if the underlying foundations
are weak.

Someone has to fund it - I know that is an obvious statement, but from 
all my advocacy over the past 18 years of formal methods, the sole 
reason it does not occur is because it is not appreciated by those 
that ultimately must fund it.  The pragmatics of short term expedience 
always seem to out do long term good sense. 

With respect,

Arthur Ryman wrote ..
> Paul,
> One of the benefits for after-the-fact formalization is that the spec can
> be used as input to specs built on it. For example. it would have been
> handy to have a Z formalization of XML,  Infoset or XSD so I could refer
> to the definitions from the WSDL. 
> Arthur Ryman,
> Rational Desktop Tools Development
> phone: +1-905-413-3077, TL 969-3077
> assistant: +1-905-413-2411, TL 969-2411
> fax: +1-905-413-4920, TL 969-4920
> mobile: +1-416-939-5063, text: 4169395063@fido.ca
> intranet: http://labweb.torolab.ibm.com/DRY6/
> <paul.downey@bt.com> 
> 07/01/2005 09:02 AM
> To
> <steven@semeiosis.com>, <mike@saxonica.com>
> cc
> <www-xml-schema-comments@w3.org>, Arthur Ryman/Toronto/IBM@IBMCA
> Subject
> RE: [REVISED] My user experience of the user experience workshop
> Steven
> > I certainly understand this pragmatic - It simply suggests that 
> > the issue is a broader one and that we do in fact need a standard
> > approach industry wide. Zed is now an ISO standard, for example.
> > I see nothing wrong with the W3C issuing a recommendation about 
> > the form of language specs - since it is the users of the spec 
> > that will benefit from such consistency.
> The Web Services Description Working Group uses Z notation 
> to formalise the WSDL specification, see:
> http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/~checkout~/2002/ws/desc/wsdl20/wsdl20-z.html#znotation
> In essence this is something of a new adventure for the W3C, owes much
> to the work of Arthur Ryman (IBM), and should provide valuable experience
> from which other Working Groups may learn.
> As said during the workshop, I question the value of applying 
> formalisation 
> after the event, given so much of its value seems to be in finding bugs
> and 
> inconsistencies at a point in time when they can be easily be fixed.
> However, I am interested in the potential application of a formal model
> in 
> generating and assessing the coverage of test cases.
> Paul
Received on Friday, 8 July 2005 20:36:06 UTC

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