Altova Mailing List Archives


RE: [xml-dev] What does "optional" mean?

From: "Len Bullard" <cbullard@------.--->
To: "'David Lee'" <dlee@-------.--->, "'David Carlisle'" <davidc@---.--.-->,
Date: 2/26/2012 4:13:00 PM
It's a fair question given XML requirements that admonish with respect to
options, "ideally zero".  It's a fair question because that is the basis for
losing the SGML Declaration.

XML itself is as the Sun t-shirt says:  Love at first boot.  
It works or it doesn't.  Next.

Options in any system are as qualified as the documentation of the selector.
The cross-domain pollination is that XML was designed to increase the
quality of such documentation.  It remains a human-problem to ensure that
quality.

Options are a problem for the humans, not the machines unless given a
non-terminating set in which case, the human comes out on top.

len



-----Original Message-----
From: David Lee [mailto:dlee@c...] 
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2012 9:11 AM
To: David Carlisle; Costello, Roger L.
Cc: xml-dev@l...
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] What does "optional" mean?

I would agree with David Carlisle.
In schema,  "optional" doesn't mean ANY of the items you suggest.
Schemas say nothing about "meaning".   Schemas defines syntax validity and
type information.
Neither of these imply anything about "what does it mean?"

<side joke>
There's an old comic book series from the 60's 'underground'  ... "Mr.
Natural".
Mr. Natural was a long haired white robed "guru" kind of guy which some of
the locals followed around.
In one scene, the main local was whining and complaining about life, with
questions like "Why do we have war" , "Why do bad things happen to good
people"  ... all your typical religious/metaphysical questions ...  finally
asked "Mr. Natural...  What does it all MEAN !!!???"
<pause><answer>

"It don't mean Shiite".



----------------------------------------
David A. Lee
dlee@c...
http://www.xmlsh.org

> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Carlisle [mailto:davidc@n...]
> Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2012 9:32 AM
> To: Costello, Roger L.
> Cc: xml-dev@l...
> Subject: Re: [xml-dev] What does "optional" mean?
> 
> On 26/02/2012 14:11, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
> > Every schema language (DTD, XSD, RNG) has the notion of optional --
> optional elements and optional attributes.
> 
> XML DTD does not.
> In DTD attributes may be #IMPLIED or #FIXED and may have a default
> value, any of these declarations might colloquially be called declaring
> the attribute to be optional, but they have precise meanings given in
> the xml spec, so you don't have to worry about what optional means.
> 
> 
>  > I've listed three possible meanings of "optional":
>  >     -- In the first meaning, it indicates:  of-lesser-importance.
>  >     -- In the second meaning, it indicates:  irrelevance.
>  >     -- In the third meaning, it indicates:  lack-of-knowledge.
>  > So what does "optional" really mean?
> 
> in Relax NG (and XSD, probably, but I try to avoid thinking about that)
> It doesn't mean any of those things. It just means (for attributes) that
> the attribute may be omitted from an instance.
> 
> so if the bar attribute is declared with "?" then
> 
> <foo> and <foo bar="">
> 
> are both valid. There is no indication of the _meaning_  implied by
> omitting an attribute, just as there is no indication of the meaning
> implied by any particular element name.
> 
> the role of the schema is just to say what syntax is or is not valid, it
> doesn't say anything about when or why you should use any of the syntax
> options that are valid.
> 
> David
> 
> 
> ______________________________________________________________
> _________
> 
> XML-DEV is a publicly archived, unmoderated list hosted by OASIS
> to support XML implementation and development. To minimize
> spam in the archives, you must subscribe before posting.
> 
> [Un]Subscribe/change address: http://www.oasis-open.org/mlmanage/
> Or unsubscribe: xml-dev-unsubscribe@l...
> subscribe: xml-dev-subscribe@l...
> List archive: http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/
> List Guidelines: http://www.oasis-open.org/maillists/guidelines.php
> 



_______________________________________________________________________

XML-DEV is a publicly archived, unmoderated list hosted by OASIS
to support XML implementation and development. To minimize
spam in the archives, you must subscribe before posting.

[Un]Subscribe/change address: http://www.oasis-open.org/mlmanage/
Or unsubscribe: xml-dev-unsubscribe@l...
subscribe: xml-dev-subscribe@l...
List archive: http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/
List Guidelines: http://www.oasis-open.org/maillists/guidelines.php



_______________________________________________________________________

XML-DEV is a publicly archived, unmoderated list hosted by OASIS
to support XML implementation and development. To minimize
spam in the archives, you must subscribe before posting.

[Un]Subscribe/change address: http://www.oasis-open.org/mlmanage/
Or unsubscribe: xml-dev-unsubscribe@l...
subscribe: xml-dev-subscribe@l...
List archive: http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/
List Guidelines: http://www.oasis-open.org/maillists/guidelines.php

Disclaimer

These Archives are provided for informational purposes only and have been generated directly from the Altova mailing list archive system and are comprised of the lists set forth on www.altova.com/list/index.html. Therefore, Altova does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, usefulness, non-infringement of intellectual property rights, or quality of any content on the Altova Mailing List Archive(s), regardless of who originates that content. You expressly understand and agree that you bear all risks associated with using or relying on that content. Altova will not be liable or responsible in any way for any content posted including, but not limited to, any errors or omissions in content, or for any losses or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of or reliance on any content. This disclaimer and limitation on liability is in addition to the disclaimers and limitations contained in the Website Terms of Use and elsewhere on the site.