W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xmlschema-dev@w3.org > June 2012

Supporting incremental-definition of a type?

From: Matt Warden <mwarden@mattwarden.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 13:04:46 -0500
Message-ID: <CADi91UDeQeMsqpzkabq+Q8P7qqfqbyej0bq-NPo+GMJiGeo3nA@mail.gmail.com>
To: xmlschema-dev@w3.org
First, I want to say that while I have only subscribed today, I have
already gotten a lot out of this list over the years, having ended up
at your list archived 30 or so times to get answers to my questions.
This is an extremely valuable resource, so thank you for the
contributions you have all made over the years on this list. I could
not find the answer to this question, though, which is likely because
I don't really know what to call it.

Our education data standard is made up of 1 "core" XSD, which contains
only types and no root element, and "interchange" XSDs which include
the core and use the types to define specific messages.

As you can imagine, many of these types (like Student) are rather
large. So far, the standard has been used to load data in batch mode,
but we have increasingly seen interest in using it for REST style
interfaces. As I understand the use case, if you imagine a 7-page
wizard collecting student data, the app developer wants to be able to
use our types in our XSD as the basis to define the messages for each
page. But the problem is that after page one, only 1/7 of the student
information is known, yet we have a single type called Student with
lots of mandatory elements... elements that are collected on
subsequent pages.

The technical request we have received is to make nearly ALL elements
optional in the types (e.g. Student) in the "core" XSD, and then
restrict those types when they are used in specific interchanges to
specify which elements are required.

Have any of you seen this done before? Do you have alternative
suggestions on how to accommodate this "incremental definition"
scenario, where the application cannot possibly fill all mandatory
elements for our type (e.g., Student) yet?

Thanks for any insight,

-- 
Matt Warden
http://mattwarden.com


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