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Re: speech grammar spec recommends xsi:schemaLocation [namespaceDocument-8]

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 11:06:58 -0500
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF23DB80D6.40E75307-ON852570D6.005579A8-852570D6.00588747@lotus.com>

Dan Connolly writes:

> I would have thought that

> <grammar version="1.0"

> was sufficient info to ground the document in the
> web and, among other things, find the standard
> schema.

I think that's one way to do it, but not in all cases the best or only 
way.  I certainly support the convention of publishing RDDL or something 
similar at the namespace URI, and using it when practical.   Here are some 
of the reasons you might want to use xsi:schemaLocation in addition or 

* Because xsi:schemaLocation was documented in the Schema Recommendation 
long before the community moved toward consensus on RDDL, there's a lot of 
schema-aware software out there that knows how to use xsi:schemaLocation. 
At least until RDDL-aware parsers become ubiquitous, using the attribute 
seems reasonable to me.

* We know that for versioning and perhaps for other reasons, multiple 
schema documents describing the same namespace may be published over a 
period of time.  Presumably RDDL purposes or other properties can be 
developed for designating either all of the versions that have ever been 
published, or else the latest (if you maintain linear versioning for your 
NS, which is common but certainly not in general required.) 
xsi:schemaLocation allows an instance document to say explicitly "this is 
the version of the schema that was in force at the time I was written." 
That seems useful to me.

Though I don't think it relates to this particular use case, there is 
another factor relating to namespace descriptions that I think is worth 

* While we were designing the schema language, at least one vendor 
described implementation experience with a production quality system that 
by default dereferenced the NS URI to get a schema.  They found that in 
many cases this was impractical, because in fact so many namespaces do not 
have retreivable representations, and they could not tell in advance which 
did and which didn't.  Network timeouts tend to be quite long on public 
networks, and typically much longer than the time required to successfully 
retrieve a representation (especially if that representation is cached.) 
So, their parsers spent long periods waiting on failed connection 
attempts.  While the same concern applies up to a point for 
xsi:schemaLocation, at least someone is explicitly warranting that 
retrieval is a good bet for that one.  Maybe over time high speed 
retrievability of NS representations will become nearly universal, but in 
the meantime we've had implementation reports suggesting that one wants 
explicit hints as to which retrievals should be attempted and which not. 


Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Tuesday, 13 December 2005 16:07:15 UTC

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