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24-Sep-1999 Part1 comments

From: DuCharme, Robert <DuCharmR@moodys.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 1999 12:04:40 -0400
Message-ID: <01BA10F0CD20D3119B2400805FD40F9F277E8D@MDYNYCMSX1>
To: "'www-xml-schema-comments@w3.org'" <www-xml-schema-comments@w3.org>
The September Schema WD is great. In substance, I'm still confused about
some basic terminology issues (see questions below), but in style, it's a
300% improvement. It's much more readable, especially with the introductory
material up front and the cross-referencing so that previously unused terms
usually have pointers to their explanations the first time they're used.

I can sum up my two questions like this: since the terms document type and
element type seem to have gone away, were they replaced with other terms, or
was there a decision that there is no longer a need to describe these
classes of objects? More specifically:

1. From 2.1: "An XML Schema establishes a set of rules for constraining the
structure and articulating the information set of XML document instances." A
single schema obviously doesn't constrain the structure and articulate the
infoset of all XML document instances; it does so for a certain class of
them. How do we refer to the class of documents constrained by a particular
schema? Has some term replaced the retired "document type," and if not, why

2. I'm particularly confused about the "Brutal 'element type' -> element"
revision listed in Appendix H. I think I understand the evolution of the
role of the "type" concept from the May draft to the September draft. Do we
now refer to the class of elements of the same name as an element (as many
people did before anyway) instead of as an "element type," and do we now
refer to a specific instantiation of an element (type) as an "element item"
(a term that is often used in the Schema spec but never defined) instead of
as an "element"?  For example, would I rewrite the sentence "p is an element
type declared in the HTML DTD; a p element contains a single paragraph" as
"p is an element declared in the HTML schema; a p element item contains a
single paragraph"?

Also, 2.3 states "a declaration enables the appearance in a document
instance of an element or attribute with a specific name and type." So an
element (singular) is what is being declared although multiple element items
(or element instances?) can be used in a document conforming to a particular
schema, right?

I just want to get my terminology right. (And by the way, I still want to
know what the "O" in "OEI" stands for.)


Bob DuCharme          www.snee.com/bob           <bob@  
snee.com>  "The elements be kind to thee, and make thy
spirits all of comfort!" Anthony and Cleopatra, III ii
Received on Friday, 1 October 1999 12:01:37 UTC

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