RELAX NG Compact schemas for Ecma Office Open XML
by Rick Jelliffe
The normative schemas are the W3C XSD ones. The ISO RELAX NG Compact Syntax schemas are non-normative/informative: which means that you rely on the XSD and the normative text of the standard ahead of the RELAX NG schema, and that adoption of the RELAX NG schemas implies adopting the maintained living versions rather than just the pre-baked version of the paper standard: you cannot adopt a non-normative part of a standard as if it were normative of course, that would go against the spirit of the standard and be dumb...you adopt the standard and then you use the RELAX NG version of the schemas (as maintained) .
SC34, the committee at ISO that handles ISO SGML (i.e. XML's base), ISO DSDL (e.g. RELAX NG, Schematron) is also the committee that looks after the ISO standards for ODF, OOX and HTML. (I don't think we do ISO PDF but I could be wrong.) I was involved a decade ago and again recently with ISO Schematron.
It is not just a matter of turf (SC34 does RELAX NG, therefore SC34 "products" should also use it) or a level playing field (ODF uses RELAX NG therefore OOX should use it.) The main reason for providing a RELAX NG schema is because it is easy to read and supports people who are integrating using the RELAX NG branch of technology. I don't believe Microsoft has any plans or much need to adopt RELAX NG itself (Schematron is a different matter, I am always hopeful !)
So Jean then batted the ball to my court: they would include RELAX NG compact schemas if someone (i.e. me) could provide them. My company, Topologi had been working on various XSD tools and RELAX NG tools, so we were well placed to use OOX as the test case for developing an XSD to RELAX NG translator (functionality which James Clark's Trang, for example, does not provide.)
I'll write a little blog about the translator next.
|I just saw Brian Jones's announcement of the final draft (thanks to your earlier note), and am downloading it as I type this. The informative annexes with Relax NG are definitely included and available for download in .zip files.|
Do you think that your company working on OOXML influences your work in the TC when advising on OOXML matters ?
I do not think it would matter much in this particular case as it seems likely the TC will give a positive advise anyways but it might be a bit awkward.
I don't know that I have much influence on anyone. The Japanese, Koreans, Norwegians etc. do not respond well to my mind control techniques and frequently insist on making up their own minds.
|KICKBACK UPDATE! I just accepted a free cup of coffee from a visiting MS guy who wanted to talk about schemas. Concerned readers will be happy to learn I declined the donut. Err, actually it would have been a Florentine biscuit. But I declined it because of my waist.|