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Any XML fiends out there?

alanb
Grafter
Posts: 459
Registered: 24-05-2007

Any XML fiends out there?

Does anyone know if there is a catalogue of standardised XML data elements anywhere on the web?
I've been googling for ages and haven't been able to find one, but I feel sure it ought to be there.
I know there are standard definitions for fundamental elements (strings, numbers, dates, etc) and there are shed-loads of schema definitions for all sorts of applications. What I'm trying to find is something in between these: standard definitions for business data elements that are being used in the schemas. I can't believe that anyone who designs a schema is not re-using existing elements wherever possible.
Cheers,
Alan.
5 REPLIES
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 17,334
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Any XML fiends out there?

There are only 4 dataypes:
String
Date
Numeric
Misc
But these will only be defined in the schema for your XML document, not the document itself.
Have a look at http://www.w3schools.com/Schema/default.asp for some more info.
Will Moderate For Thanks
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,571
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Any XML fiends out there?

XML is basically open and you can do what you like as long as its defined right. Its  the new database that is cross everything as almost any thing can read it. Its great as you dont have to buy any fancy expensive software just note pad.
What are you looking to do with it web pages,database ?
alanb
Grafter
Posts: 459
Registered: 24-05-2007

Re: Any XML fiends out there?

Thanks both for your thoughts.
I appreciate that XML is open and we're quite free to do our own thing, and I understand how the schema fits into the picture. But the point of XML is to encourage standardisation. I know I can define my own XML tags and so on; however, when it comes to more complex XML elements that may (for example) include meta-data to explicitly encapsulate processing rules, there is a case for defining some standard elements to encourage re-usability and data compatibility. The concept of a schema is a large step in that direction but only defines standard elements for users of the schema. I'm hoping (maybe, was hoping, after reading your thoughts) there is re-use of elements between schemas and that there is a source of standardised elements that I can draw from for this purpose.
As for what I'm trying to do. I have a couple of little applications that save data in files in an XML-ish format. I've defined my own elements and basically done just enough to allow the file to be read by a non-validating parser. It's worked fine for several years. But now I'm thinking of changing the applications in a way that would require a lot more XML elements. So I'm thinking this might be a sensible time to make sure that the element definitions are compatible with any standard elements if they exist. One of the new elements I'm thinking about adding is a sort of notes field containing free-text with some formatting such as bullets and lists. I know I could borrow formatting elements that are defined in the standard xhtml schema (for example, but there are other schemas) to create this particular element, but it could get awfully tedious if I had to trawl through different schemas looking for other elements that suit my application.
Community Veteran
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Re: Any XML fiends out there?

alanb
Grafter
Posts: 459
Registered: 24-05-2007

Re: Any XML fiends out there?

Thank you, but unfortunately that is not really what I'm looking for. I've been searching some more and still haven't found anything. Being realistic, it's looking like I'm out of luck and what I want just doesn't exist. I must confess I'm a little disappointed. Many years ago, before XML became the norm, I worked on another markup language called UN EDIFACT, which was used for electronic data interchange. By the time I got involved in it, there was an enormous catalogue of predefined data elements that could be used to construct interchange messages. I was rather hoping that there would be something similar for XML, but it's beginning to look like the various standard XML schemas are the nearest to it. Though to be fair to XML it is trying to cover different and much broader requirements than EDIFACT.
It's been an interesting exercise though. Looking through some of the XML schemas has given me food for thought.