Thinking XML #32: Schema annotation for bottom-up semantic transparency:

"Thinking XML: Schema annotation for bottom-up semantic transparency"

Subtitle: Pushing schemata beyond syntax into semantics
Synopsis: Learn more about the different approaches to semantic transparency as Uche Ogbuji discusses what they mean to developers using XML. Whether or not you reuse schemata, you might find it valuable to use formal annotations (as opposed to the informal annotations covered earlier). You gain benefits on several levels by doing so. On the most immediately practical level, you can generate better documentation. A more far-sighted benefit is that it gives you an important measure of semantic transparency. This installment discusses semantic anchors, and gives examples. The author also takes a moment to discuss The XTech Conference 2005.

This is the third part of a mini-series within the column. Previous articles are "State of the art in XML modeling" and "Schema standardization for top-down semantic transparency". In this article I discuss formal schema annotations, the most important tool available for semantic transparency. I started off my exploration of the technique in "Use data dictionary links for XML and Web services schemata". I mentioned why I think schema annotations are so important even in rough and ready use of XML in my discussion of XOXO.

See other articles in the column. Comments here on Copia or on the column's official discussion forum. Next up in Thinking XML, back to Python + WordNet.

[Uche Ogbuji]

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