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RE: Comment on XSD 1.1

From: Dave Peterson <davep@iit.edu>
Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 12:45:10 -0400
Message-id: <a06240800c630a387f4a4@[]>
To: Michael Kay <mike@saxonica.com>, 'Rick Jelliffe' <rjelliffe@allette.com.au>, www-xml-schema-comments@w3.org, www-tag@w3.org
At 1:25 AM +1000 2009-05-14, Rick Jelliffe wrote:

>But the fundamental problem was SGML was too big. The approach was 
>of course to slim it down to XML, and to reintroduce many of the 
>cast-off features and ideas (DTDs, modules) into layers on top of 
>XML (schemas, namespaces.)

At 5:01 PM +0100 2009-05-13, Michael Kay wrote:

>W3C organized a workshop in 2005 designed to analyze user experience with
>XSD 1.0: see
>Some hoped that this would provide a springboard to generate the
>requirements for a refactoring or layering of the kind you described.
>Unfortunately, it failed to do so: although I was not present, my
>understanding is that it essentially confirmed that all the requirements
>that XSD 1.0 aimed to satisfy were real, and that all the features of XSD
>1.0 were needed by someone.

Interesting parallels.  One historical fact remains:  SGML was designed
to be intelligently subsettable; it was assumed that there would be
markets for smaller subsets.  But no buyers of software would buy anything
but complete all-the-bells-and-whistles implementations.  The people who
wanted a smaller version wouldn't or couldn't propose a subset that would
satisfy their needs.  Turns out they were a larger market than the original
SGML market was, but I've never understood why they had to insist that
no one should use anything but the features they wanted.  Since they were
so big, they took over the market and left those who could make use of
the other features of SGML without any support.  It's fun to jump on

I see a similar reaction to XSD.  The folks who want something small didn't
participate in development, then complain about what comes out, and have
once again built their own alternatives, which they seem to feel is what
everyone needs (or should need?).  (N.B.:  That comment is not particularly
addressed at Rick Jelliffe; it's strictly a generic comment about a large
group of people.)

It's hard to be all things to all people, and no matter what you do, someone
will step up and say you got it wrong.  C'est la vie.  I wish the folk who
think as Rick has described had chosen to be represented on the WG during
the last many years; then XSD might well have been able to handle their
desires as well.  Subsetting is not evil, it just needs careful cooperation
between the interest groups that need this or that subset of the whole.
Dave Peterson

Received on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 16:51:02 UTC

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