The W3C Processing Model Workshop

12-13 July 2001, Cambridge MA Royal Sonesta Hotel

Informix Position Paper


Charles E. Campbell


During the last W3C AC meeting in Hong Kong there were request by some of the ACs Representatives at the meeting for the W3C to begin to produce SIMPLER RECOMMENDATIONS. We sympathize with the need for better understanding, but we do not believe producing SIMPLE RECOMMENDATIONS is the answer. What we do believe is that more UNDERSTANDABLE RECOMMENDATIONS are the answer to request of this nature.


With more understandable recommendations as a target we feel that the XML Processing Model is the perfect opportunity to implement new ideas into the recommendation process to make the recommendations more understandable to a broader audience. We feel that if the Recommendation become more understandable to a broader audience, then the technology will be adopted quicker and this will create more demand for the products that are the natural out growth of the Recommendation Process.


We fell that two areas need to be address at the Workshop:


  1. Greater use of Dynamic Illustrations.
  2. Development of a Dependency Matrix.


(1) Illustrations are like pictures; they are worth a 1,000 words. Dynamic Illustrations may be worth 10,000 words. Complex subject can be made more understandable by the liberal use of illustrations. During a last SQLX Face to Face meeting Michael Rys, of Microsoft, used a Power Point Presentation on the subject of Annotated Schemas to help simplify the technical content of his presentation and make it more understandable to the group. This helps technical groups ramp up on the subject and helps the presenters SELL their ideas.


The W3C needs to market its technology and we feel that more understandable recommendations would be a large part of the marketing effort. Effective use of Shapes, Color and Animation will give the illustrations more impact. The use of animation will allow a complex concept to be walked through step-by-step thus making sure the reader is presented with small portions of the technology while seeing the technology build upon these small increments to finally illustrate the entire concept. The XML Process Flow seems to be an excellent candidate for this type of presentation.


(2) For some time we have felt that there needs to be greater architectural oversight in the XML recommendation process. We are expanding what XML will accomplish at a hyper rate and the need for coordination is at the basis for this meeting. One useful tool would be to develop an XML Dependency Matrix.


Each part of the XML work would have a Features Matrix that would feed the Architectural Overview XML Dependency Matrix. This would flag areas of common concern between workgroups and standards organizations, since some of the dependencies would extend beyond the W3C.


In summary, we would like this paper to provoke some discussion early in the workshop so that these two proposed ideas could be explored and used as part of the deliverables of the workshop.