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From "Steven Noels" <>
Subject RE: draft howto dtd
Date Sat, 18 May 2002 10:36:57 GMT

> > From: Steven Noels []
> >
> > At best, XML Schemas are commonly considered to be primarly
> data- and
> > not document-focused. Furthermore, the spec is crap, and the
> > implementations are only able to make some sense of this crap.
> >
> > Sorry for being so frank, but after teaching some courses on XML
> > Schemas, I'm quite convinced it is a horribly bloated language.
> But you can't disagree that XSD has also some very useful
> features. And
> having a visual tool like XML Spy (Schema editor), I even
> haven't to know
> the XSD language details to create usable schemas. And the
> other good thing
> about the XSD is that it's XML and you can use XSLT to
> display it as you
> like.

That's the theory, I fear. There's a number of constructs in the spec
which can be written down in 2 or more different ways, meaning:

- XMLSpy generates the XML syntax Altova thinks of being "best practice"
- writing XSLT to process XML Schemas can be very hard because of the
difference between the semantics of the model and how you write it down

See which has a
chapter from Jeni Tennison about XSLT & XML Schemas.

So yes, you can use "XMLSpy XML Schema" and XSLT - but that's not "true
W3C XML Schema", I fear.

> E.g. all Cocoon transformers, logicsheets and some generators
> should have
> their corresponding DTDs or schemas and they should be linked
> from the docs.
> I can see a lot more good features with XSD: filtering by
> element types,
> sorting, getting attributes for an element. I even think that
> some parts of
> docs can be autogenerated from XSD using the comments from it.

Yep, these are very good use cases, if only there was some real interest
in actually maintaining these XML-described interfaces... Developers
prefer sticking to source code interface contracts rather than XML
grammars, I fear. Also, I'm not really a supporter of autogenerated
documentation, but that's my personal pessimism, I guess :-)

> What do you think?
> Regards,
>   Konstantin
> P.S. Hope to finish i18n doc rewriting in v11 format this
> weekend and will
> try to come up with a more real world sample page for
> documentation menu.

That would be cool - ready to do some work based upon it!


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