Friday, January 03, 2003

XML Class Warfare

"Strong data typing is mostly a false crutch that collapses very readily...I also received a handful of messages with no new insights, but just expressing support for the "bohemian" point of view and dismay at the layers of complexity the W3C appears to be molding over everything it produces lately." - More on XML class warfare. Largely that complexity stems from XML Schema.

"The gentry, however, would like more class consciousness from these workhorse technologies. They reason that if they have gone to the trouble of specifying in the schema that ''1.0'' represents a floating point number, the XPath and XSLT processors should make this information available, and the processor should use such type information far more broadly. The gentry take the view that such capabilities should be built into the foundations of XPath and XSLT...Not by coincidence, these specifications are several times larger and more complex than the 1.0 generation of specifications."

I would agree with the "bohemians" that as some of these specs get close to acceptance the W3C then adds one more layer of complexity. Uche seems to think that XML data types are all or nothing, especially with the new versions of XPath and XSLT. As everything is about RDF, I just have to note that even without a parser that understands RDF data types, the RDF is still useful and distinct. It's a shame though, that types in RDF was not just another property but is embedded in the syntax of RDF/XML. This kind of separation is also mentioned in one of xml-dev threads.

From the original article, "The bohemians insist that the next-generation XML technologies should not only learn from RELAX NG's isolation of class consciousness, but should avoid bias toward WXS, supporting RELAX NG and other alternatives as well. The battle rages on at present."

A Relax NG Schema for RDF/XML does exist but it is not part of the RDF specification.
Post a Comment