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From "Steve Loughran" <stev...@iseran.com>
Subject Re: Generic Element Containers (generalization of TaskContainer)
Date Wed, 05 Dec 2001 20:39:32 GMT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Emberson" <emberson@phc.net>
To: "Ant Developers List" <ant-dev@jakarta.apache.org>
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2001 7:29 AM
Subject: Re: Generic Element Containers (generalization of TaskContainer)


> DTDs are for TEXT.
> XML Schema are for DATA.
>
> Is an Ant build file text or data? I would argue that it is data; it
> reflects (so to speak)
> an object hierarchy.
>
> Therefore, no time should be wasted on creating a DTD, rather XML Schema
> should
> be used.
>
> Richard Emberson
>

DTDs are a way of describing XML files; a simple one with known limitations
on what can be represented.

XML Schemas are an alternate description mechanism, much richer but also
much more complex. It also has many concepts which make sense to the
document people, but not the object people, and seems to exist just to make
parsers bigger and more complex.

There are other alternatives to XML Schema, some of which make more sense to
me, coming from the object/formal methods/AI side of things.

But these are neither here nor there. If we had a descriptor for tasks which
included enough information, then the appropriate description could be
generated in ones XML description language of choice, even RDF if one was so
inclined.

Having a look at xdoclet and how to use that plus some extra tags on ant
tasks, methods and things to generate a task descriptior and/or maybe a
schema/DTD of some sort is on my todolist for this week. It could also feed
into an xml documentation.

-steve


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