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A particle is a term and a term is a particle ... circular definition?

From: Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 18:59:43 +0000
To: "xmlschema-dev@w3.org" <xmlschema-dev@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B5FEE00B53CF054AA8439027E8FE17751920A62C@IMCMBX04.MITRE.ORG>
Hi Folks,

In section 2.2.3.2 of the Structures specification it says:

(1)  A particle is a term ... consisting of either an element declaration, a wildcard or a model group ...

(2)  Term is ... any of the three kinds of components that can appear in particles.

Huh?

A particle is a term which is a particle which is a term which is ...

Seems circular to me.

I see no difference between "particle" and "term".

This is even more interesting:

(3)  A basic term is an Element Declaration or a Wildcard.

(4)  A basic particle is a Particle whose term is a basic term.

Huh?

Let's examine (4) shall we? A basic particle is a Particle (which according to (1) is a term) whose term (which according to (2) is a particle) is a basic term.

This is just gibberish as far as I can tell.

Why can't this stuff be written in a simple, concise manner? Why introduce terminology that has no apparent benefit?

Why are terms used before they are defined? For example, the term "particle" is used in 2.2.1.3 but isn't defined until 2.2.3.2 and model group is used in 2.2.1.3 but isn't defined until 2.2.3.1.

Why is this specification 380 pages long? 

Yikes!

/Roger
Received on Thursday, 14 June 2012 19:00:15 UTC

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