XSD Deficiency: Incompatibility of xs:add and xs:any

Discussion in 'XML' started by KMyers1, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. KMyers1

    KMyers1 Guest

    (This is a re-post as my prior attempt didn't seem to come through.
    Hope this doesn't result in duplication.)

    Hello XML Gurus,

    I am quite new to XML, and could be missing something very basic, so I
    hope that you will be able to enlighten me. I am working on an
    application where I had hoped to use XML as a data storage and
    interchange format. In writing similar applications previously that
    worked with simple tabular data, it was almost always very important
    to write the application in a manner such that it would support two
    fundamental rules regarding extensibility for data storage and
    interchange formats.

    To help illustrate these rules, consider an application that requires
    an input table which must contain columns A and B. Then the
    extensibility rules that I am having a problem with in XSD can be
    stated as follows:

    1. The application should function correctly regardless of the order
    in which required columns are supplied in the input table. This means
    that tables with column ordering A,B should work equally well to a
    table with column ordering B,A.

    2. The application should function correctly regardless of additional
    columns that may be supplied in the input table, of which the
    application has no prior knowledge. This means that an application
    requiring an input table with columns A and B should work equally well
    with an input table that contains only columns A,B or with an input
    table that contains columns X,B,Y,A,Z, and that it must be possible
    for the application to be written with no prior awareness of columns
    X,Y,Z.

    With RDBMS tables, spreadsheets, delimited files, etc. it is easy to
    write an application that supports data format extensibility according
    to the two preceding rules. But I can't figure out how equivalent
    support for arbitrary element ordering and inclusion of non-specified
    elements can be implemented with XSD.

    Arbitrary element ordering is support through the use of xs:all, and
    inclusion of non-specified elements is supported through the use of
    xs:any. But these two XSD schema specifications appear to be mutually
    exclusive, i.e. you can't apply both of them to the same group of
    elements. Without the capability of using both of these
    specifications together, I can't see any way to support both of the
    above fundamental rules for data format extensibility in XSD, and this
    requirement is extremely important for my application (and many
    others).

    Can someone please enlighten me as to how the above data format
    extensibility rules can both be supported for the same group of
    elements in XSD?

    Thanks,
    Kevin M.
     
    KMyers1, Jul 20, 2007
    #1
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