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Re: The self-describing web...

From: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 13:29:13 -0500
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <874q4ju9s6.fsf@nwalsh.com>
/ "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <len.bullard@intergraph.com> was heard to say:
| Sorry Norm, but that reads like skepticism about the streets 
| of a given city at night being unsafe.  It makes for a polite 
| and politically correct position in polite and politically 
| correct company, but honest residents will tell you differently 

Ah. Sorry. That's not what I meant. I wasn't trying to say that
malicious behavior doesn't exist, it surely does. What I meant to say
was more the other way around: if an author whom you trust is not
malicious publishes a page and you are not reading that page for some
specific purpose known a priori to yourself (such as counting words or
building a search index or checking to see if the content is written
in French), then you ought to be able to follow your nose and figure
out what the content says. And what you determine it says ought not
usually to be too far off the mark of what the author actually thought
he was saying.

| What does this statement mean:
|
| "nesting things inside each other in arbitrary ways is core to the power of
| XML."
| http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/XML

Tim? I think that's one for you to elucidate.

| "...to use with any sort of document, without it having to be foreseen in
| the schema for the original document"
|
| Sounds good.  Doesn't work unless the combinatorics are specified apriori.
| In 
| other words, what TimBL says is not of necessity so, but can be made so by 
| agreement.  What one says about a city's safety at night cannot be made so 
| without agreement at scales that cannot be obtained or maintained.  So we 
| come to:
|
| "This way of specifying n independent schemas, or rather schemas which have
| back-references to earlier schemas in some cases, allows a product to simply
| quote the set of XML technologies which it supports. This has to be
| negotiated between the sender and receiver of XML. It is not the same in the
| general case to the set of namespaces used in the document, because function
| elaboration may change that. All the same, the namespaces may be a useful
| way of indirectly referring to the features."
|
| Again:  a system is defined in terms of itself.  Apparently, DTDs and
| Notations 
| did work and self-description is a term for saying 'has a schema of some
| form 
| with everything you need to know to start interpreting this in the opinion 
| of the author'.
|
| Does it have to be harder than that?  Why?

                                        Be seeing you,
                                          norm

-- 
Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM / XML Standards Architect / Sun Microsystems, Inc.
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Received on Wednesday, 4 January 2006 18:29:31 UTC

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