[Ex-plain] Finalizing a version of Explain-- for use in real life

Alan Kent ajk at mds.rmit.edu.au
Mon Apr 15 10:40:36 CEST 2002

Hi all,

I am wondering if a timetable should be put in place to do a snapshot
of Explain-- so people can actually start implementing it. An important
consideration personally is to keep it relatively simple so it has a
chance to take off - and then extend it based on real life experience.

It is a hard decision between designing lots of stuff into it up front
to avoid upgrade problems and getting something out there and acceptable.
Good progress has been made, but every time I turn around things seem
to be changing again. Just recently there was discussion of "hey,
maybe all the element names are wrong and we should change the whole
DTD around". This sent shivers down my spine.

So does someone want to have a go at defining the requirements for
deciding a version is finished enough to make it into the real world?
For example, is it politically sensible to have 3 levels of conformance?

Here is an attempt:

* XML Schema definition and namespace defined (if we are going to support
  XML namespaces, then I think we should always use them - not have a
  DTD form of XML and a namespace form of XML)

* Define 1 set of queries (and attributes) to be supported with a
  definition of behaviour.

What else? Is it acceptable to have additional levels of conformance
introduced later (as well as other extensions using namespaces etc)?
Is it more important to get it right, or get it accepted (and so keep
it simple).

Alan Kent (mailto:ajk at mds.rmit.edu.au, http://www.mds.rmit.edu.au/~ajk/)
Postal: Multimedia Database Systems, RMIT, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001.
Where: RMIT MDS, Bld 91, Level 3, 110 Victoria St, Carlton 3053, VIC Australia.
Phone: +61 3 9925 4114  Reception: +61 3 9925 4099  Fax: +61 3 9925 4098 

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