Relax NG

Relax NG

by Eric van der Vlist


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780596004217
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/28/2003
Series: O'Reilly Series
Edition description: First
Pages: 508
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.19(h) x 0.91(d)

About the Author

Eric van der Vlist is the resident expert on XML schema languages on He is also a member of the ISO DSDL committee, where standardization work on RELAX NG and related specifications is in progress. Eric is also the author of O'Reilly's XML Schema.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by James Clark
  • Foreword by Murata Makoto
  • Preface
  • Tutorial
    • Chapter 1: What RELAX NG Offers
    • Chapter 2: Simple Foundations Are Beautiful
    • Chapter 3: First Schema
    • Chapter 4: Introducing the Compact Syntax
    • Chapter 5: Flattening the First Schema
    • Chapter 6: More Complex Patterns
    • Chapter 7: Constraining Text Values
    • Chapter 8: Datatype Libraries
    • Chapter 9: Using Regular Expressions to Specify Simple Datatypes
    • Chapter 10: Creating Building Blocks
    • Chapter 11: Namespaces
    • Chapter 12: Writing Extensible Schemas
    • Chapter 13: Annotating Schemas
    • Chapter 14: Generating RELAX NG Schemas
    • Chapter 15: Simplification and Restrictions
    • Chapter 16: Determinism and Datatype Assignment

  • Reference
    • Chapter 17: Element Reference
    • Chapter 18: Compact Syntax Reference
    • Chapter 19: Datatype Reference

  • Appendixes
    • DSDL
    • The GNU Free Documentation License

  • Glossary
  • Colophon

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RELAX NG 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
By now, XML is entrenched as the most common and flexible standard for data interchange. There is no real dispute over this. But in the quick uptake of XML, the DTDs rapidly showed their shortcomings. So a more expressive schematic standard was hurriedly put together, under the generic name of XML Schema. But, as van der List points out, some users took issue with the complexity and verbosity of XML Schema. An alternative emerged, Relax NG, which is described in detail here. The author's assessment that Relax is in fact cleaner and simpler to use than XML Schema seems correct. I cannot find technical flaws in his argument. There are two problems, though. XML Schema has greater acceptance. Certainly aided by the very generic and definitive nature of its name. While this may not be quantifiable, it certainly does not help Relax. For example, think of 'Microsoft Windows'. In common parlance, this is elided to 'Windows'. So if you say the latter, in referring to any computer GUI, some might assume you mean the Microsoft version. Very aggravating! There is some of this going on here. The other problem is that both approaches have essentially the same functionality. While there may be some things you can do in Relax that are not possible in the other, this may not be enough. Ditto for the simpler syntax of Relax. Remember IBM's OS/2 versus Microsoft Windows? Most observers with no pony in that race gave an overall technical advantage to OS/2. But it was driven to extinction. A similar fate might befall Relax.