W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-zig@w3.org > March 2003

Re: requesting XML records

From: Mike Taylor <mike@indexdata.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 16:04:01 GMT
Message-Id: <200303281604.h2SG41V25199@badger.miketaylor.org.uk>
To: rden@loc.gov
CC: www-zig@w3.org

> Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 09:02:46 -0500
> From: Ray Denenberg <rden@loc.gov>
> > I honestly don't know whether [allowing clients to request that
> > returned XML records contain elements from a certain namespace] is
> > A Good Idea or not.  I can see strong arguments both ways.
> My argument against: The XML namespace id concept was conceived by
> the w3c and the suggestion is to use it in a manner not only that
> they never intended, but that they wouldn't even understand if we
> tried to explain it to them (we've tried, they haven't).

I have to say that I don't see this as a strong argument at all.  I'm
sure that the inventors of HTTP would be amazed to see it now being
used as the substrate for SOAP, and the history of computer science is
littered with similar happy (or in some cases unhappy) accidents.  For
that matter, I didn't envisage the Zthes profile being used to
navigate phylogenetic hierarchies, but I'm glad people are doing it.

> My suggestion is that we continue (as proposed) to think along the
> lines of letting the element set name take on schema name values.

I certainly agree that we need (as the original Bath request asked) to
find a way for Z39.50 clients to request the schema in which they
would like XML records returned.  (Though I remain to be convinced
that elementSetName is the right place for this.)  The conversation
got sidetracked by Theo's similar-smelling but actually rather
different requirement, but I don't think anyone was suggestion we
should do that _instead_.

> I want to stress the point that "schema" doesn't necessarily mean
> "XML schema".

Doesn't it?  That comes as a complete surprise to me.  Is this how
other people had understood the Bath requirement too?

> Thus if you want a schema to mean "DC unqualified, title and
> identifier only" come up with a name for that.

Hmm.  Then we will need either (A) a central registry for schema-like
XML element-set names, or (B) as with clasic Z39.50 practice, an
understanding that all element-set names other than a tiny hardwired
set ("B" and "F") are undefined except in the context of a profile.  I
don't think the latter is what Theo wants at all, since (as I
understand his requirement) he wants to cross-search targets that do
not adhere to his profile, if he even has one.  (Right, Theo?)

> (I hesitate to suggest a name, and I'm not suggesting structured
> ESNs, they would still be primitive. Thus the name might be DCU1,
> and another combination DCU2, no structured names like DCU/t/i.)  If
> you want a schema to mean "DC-like elements", come up with a schema
> name (you *don't* have to define an xml schema).  I think we can
> come up with a manageable and useful list it we try.

So you do appear to be volunteering to maintain a register of these?

> If someone needs more functionality, such as provided by compSpec,
> use compSpec.

... which is, of course, what everyone should have been doing all
along.  Is it too late to change our minds?  I belive that Jeremiah
had compSpec specifically in mind when he wrote chapter 6, verse 16:
"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask
where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your

 _/|_	 _______________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor  <mike@indexdata.com>  http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "Troodontids are almost certainly deinonychosaurs.  I was
	 wrong about troodontids in 1994, but don't care" -- Thomas
	 R. Holtz, Jr.

Listen to my wife's new CD of kids' music, _Child's Play_, at
Received on Friday, 28 March 2003 11:04:21 UTC

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