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Using Schematron to validate forms in a web browser

By Rick Jelliffe
January 8, 2012

Web programmer Daniel Epstein has a series up on his blog Ursa Dimished, called Simplify with an XML data model: it includes a page on using Schematron for browser-side validation of forms. Daniel is another developer who is frustrated that...

Schema coverage report - SVRL to XSL and Ant

By Rick Jelliffe
October 23, 2010

You have a large or complex Schematron schema and it produces no errors. How do you know it is working? A coverage report lets you see how many of each Schematron rule was fired when checking the document(s). The report...

Do you need to make your own XSLT2 function definitions when using Schematron?

By Rick Jelliffe
September 27, 2010

Recently I have seen some Schematron schemas written by good XSLT programmers which basically represented all assertion tests as custom XSLT2 functions. (Schematron allows this.) The schemas were successful, in that they functioned as desired, but I don't think there...

Schema languages as if annotation mattered - with more on Operator Grammars

By Rick Jelliffe
July 26, 2010

In 2001 we had an interesting exchange about schema languages on the XML-DEV mail list. I had written Are we losing out because of grammars?. What do I think of it now? Four heads: disconnection, importance, a category error, and operator grammars.

Validating Operator Grammars in Schematron

By Rick Jelliffe
July 21, 2010

Operator Grammars is a linguistic theory that we can adopt (or be inspired by, or perhaps dumb-down) for validation purposes. We don't need more information than is in the Wikipedia summary: we want to suggest Schematron features that can handle...

ZVON: the Information Plunger

By Rick Jelliffe
July 9, 2010

I see the ZVON.org site has recently been renovated. It is a great site with tutorials or reference material on dozens of Web-related topics. Highly recommended. The site slogan is ZVON.org cleaning information pipelines but the logo says ZVON the...

Highly Generic Schemas - A schema is like an aircraft: it can be designed for stability or maneuverability but not both.

By Rick Jelliffe
July 7, 2010

Developer Christophe Lauret recently commented: "A schema is like an aircraft: it can be designed for stability or maneuverability but not both." I recently have been trying a different method for designing intermediate schemas in publication chains. It is an exercise in taking the three-layer model for XML with Schematron to an extreme. The best name I can think of this is Highly Generic Schemas.

Ruby Schematron

By Rick Jelliffe
June 4, 2010

Francesco Lazzarino has a project up at RubyForge for a Ruby runner for ISO Schematron. (Open source: MIT/ Consortium License) Schematron is a small ISO-standard language for making assertions or reports about patterns in and between XML documents, typically using...

Announcing Schematron for Ant v3ᵝ - Plus some other OSS sites

By Rick Jelliffe
April 22, 2010

The latest release for the Schematron for Ant (Java) task is now available at SCHEMATRON.COM. This is the third release of the Schematron for Ant task which has been through four or five different programmers' hands over the years. The...

Can Schematron use grammars to test assertions?

By Rick Jelliffe
April 19, 2010

A few thousand lines in C or Java. 1 line in XPath!

Can Schematron use grammars to test assertions?

By Rick Jelliffe
April 19, 2010

A few thousand lines in C or Java. 1 line in XPath!

Public draft of next generation of ISO Schematron available for comment - ISO/IEC CD 19757

By Rick Jelliffe
April 15, 2010

The Committee Draft (CD) of the new version of ISO Schematron is now available at the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34 SC34 Website. In the JTC1 workflow, this is the version that National Bodies comment on over the next 3 months. You...

Representing and Calculating the Cost of Processing for an Electronic Document - Another use for Schematron

By Rick Jelliffe
April 13, 2010

When you have a data supplier and a data consumer sending each other forms-type information (e.g. over the WWW) the supplier (lets call them the applicant) and the consumer (lets call them the institution) each have conflicting tactics for cost...

Justifying Standards by Net Benefit - The shift from 'market requirements' to 'market failure'

By Rick Jelliffe
April 12, 2010

Standards Australia has released their Net Benefit Guide (PDF). Net Benefit is one of the criteria they use for evaluating potential standards and standards projects. (Standards Australia is not a regulator, and its standards do not have force of law,...

ISO Schematron Quick Reference Card

By Rick Jelliffe
April 8, 2010

I see Sam Wilmott and the Mulberry people (sounds like a cult) have put out an excellent fold-out card ISO Schematron Quick Reference Card (PDF). Sam is one of the most respected names in the business from SGML days from...

How Schematron could open up management of ODF and OOXML flavours - And be a registry for product ideosyncracies and workarounds

By Rick Jelliffe
April 7, 2010

Everyone will never catch up, and models of interoperability based entirely on the promise that sooner or later everyone will catch up will just lead to disappointment. So I wonder if it would be useful to have some kind of Open Source Schematron schema where we could collect tests and diagnostics for the various flavours.

Consumer-Driven Schematron Schemas

By Rick Jelliffe
April 3, 2010

Ian Robinson has a great 2008 article Service-Oriented Development with Consumer-Driven Contracts and a follow-up A Contract Vocabulary that turns normal thinking about schemas on its head. His idea, in the context of SOA systems with a limited number of...

Another insane Schematron patent? - This time it is IBM

By Rick Jelliffe
April 1, 2010

I don't know whether to be pleased or furious about this. It is a patent on a certain implementation technique for validating parts of documents with selected Schematron rules.

A Three Layer Model for XML with Schematron - The Analytical, the Practical, and the Pragmatic

By Rick Jelliffe
March 23, 2010

Recently on a trip I talked to some very interesting development people, who were quite worried about a large XML implementation they were in the middle of. They were surprised that it is possible to have XML without a XSD...

Random XMLy Standardsy Things - Prague, Schema progress, Pentaformat, OData, Grey Power

By Rick Jelliffe
March 23, 2010

Catching my eye at the moment: XML Prague 2010's Proceedings are out now. (PDF) W3C SC34 has its quarterly meeting, in Stockholm. I hope to be able to reveal a couple of interesting developments from this, pending acceptance at...

Schematron-Report patented? - Better not to have any ideas at all...

By Rick Jelliffe
January 30, 2010

Yet another example of something we made for the public benefit being patented a couple of years later. Patent 7,058,886 Method and apparatus for declarative error handling and presentation. What is it? The present invention includes a method and device...

Schematron at 10 - My FOSS implementation of ISO Schematron now released

By Rick Jelliffe
January 25, 2010

Late last year, Schematron turned 10. Over the last 10 years, Schematron has been one of those projects where there have only been nice people involved and good memories. No empires have been built and no corporations have used it...

Parameterized conditionals and versions within a single schema document - In praise of plain old macro-processing...

By Rick Jelliffe
January 21, 2010

What we can see there are three separate requirements: Conditional type assignment: it can change depending on the version Parameterized type assignment: it changes based on out-of-band information, not data in the schema or instance Declarations that are not needed are marked, so that it is possible to generate each clean version simply; useful for other utilities too As far as I can tell, XSD conditionals only allow the first of these, and its conditionals are run-time not compile time.

Microsoft patents Schematron? - Put on your nappies...

By Rick Jelliffe
January 20, 2010

But yes, I do feel outraged when what I consider obvious ideas and uses of Schematron (or XML or SGML)—the kinds of uses I intended to be enabled for the public benefit—are granted to US corporations as monopoly rights. Even if it is just defensive, it sucks. What kind of dumb cycle have we gotten ourselves into?

Validation when technocrats aren't in control - What is missing from the other schema languages that would really bring them into the same orbit as Schematron?

By Rick Jelliffe
November 30, 2009

Some computer processes have technocrats in control: we tell the user what datatypes and structures they need, and everyone else basks in our munificence. All is well with the world, everything is in order, Santa Claus is coming to town.

Schematron at the Associated Press

By Rick Jelliffe
November 24, 2009

Stuart Myles has a quick slide presentation Schematron and Other Useful Tools at the IPTC Autumn Meeting about how the Associated Press reduced manual checking & QA of incoming iAtom feeds using open source tools. They convert the incoming iAtom/XHTML...

Schematron and time: complex event processing?

By Rick Jelliffe
November 14, 2009

I have been thinking a little bit about whether Schematron's pattern approach could be applied to complex event processing where the input is a stream of discrete XML documents, for example each one being a reading from a set of...

The Grammar of Schematron

By Rick Jelliffe
September 15, 2009

A lot of Schematron can be implemented directly in a mildly enhanced version of RELAX NG without (I think) explosions, before it all runs out of steam.

Test-Driven Development for standards-makers - Connexions with XML, XSD and Schematron

By Rick Jelliffe
August 23, 2009

Fans of nerdy men with beards will enjoy the InfoQ website. Watching Freeman and Feather's TDD - Ten years later, a few things stuck out relevant to standards-makers and to Schematron.

OASIS CAM versus ISO Schematron - A new technique for Schematron: exemplars

By Rick Jelliffe
August 21, 2009

My normal initial reaction when reading the CAM spec is to huff and puff about borrowing ideas badly. No patterns! No phases! No diagnostics! No roles! No assertion text! And so on. But it is to compare apes and orangutans: the things I consider important are not the things CAM was developed for.

Converting XML Schemas to Schematron (#16): XML Schema Test Suite results for beta 0.5 - The suite smell of success?

By Rick Jelliffe
August 6, 2009

Paul Hermans has kindly set up a process (I believe an XProc pipeline using Calabash and SAXON 9) to test the XML Schema to Schematron converter I have been documenting in this blog over the last few years. Here are some results.

Converting XML Schemas to Schematron (#15): Qname madness

By Rick Jelliffe
August 6, 2009

I have recently being doing some more work on the XML Schema to Schematron converter, and one of the first issues to come up is more proper handling of namespaces.

ODF Plugfest

By Rick Jelliffe
June 16, 2009

I am looking forward to seeing the report from the ODF Plugfest 2009. The Dutch government is doing everyone a great service in organizing this.

Validation using tries and feature sets

By Rick Jelliffe
June 8, 2009

There is another design or implementation option for validation, which is to generate a trie for the document, then to validate that trie. Because our schema languages attempt to validate more than a trie can represent, we also must extract a feature set from our schemas: this is true whether the schema is a grammar-based schema or a Schematron-style schema.

The top three mistakes in Schematron

By Rick Jelliffe
June 8, 2009

After almost a decade of Schematron schemas, here are the three errors I see most often.

Conformance in the floating world

By Rick Jelliffe
May 26, 2009

This article looks at some trends and challenges for document validation. The challenges come in two classes: first, raw capabilities for lifecycle support for standards; second, coping with transitions from technologies defined by implementation to technologies defined by standards with the necessary agility.

Dan's the man!

By Rick Jelliffe
May 22, 2009

Dan Brickley blogs on my current to-ing and fro-ing with the W3C TAG and brings up an RDF angle.

Associating Schematron with documents in editors

By Rick Jelliffe
May 22, 2009

An effort at ISO SC34 WG1 to try to get an agreed on way to associate documents with schemas. Plus some recent editors that support ISO Schematron, and a link to a good video introduction to Schematron for developers.

Thinking about optimizing a custom Schematron validator

By Rick Jelliffe
May 20, 2009

I'd love readers to submit in programmer-friendly terms some of the new ideas and possibilities on optimizing XPath. In particular, I am interested in optimizations relevant to Schematron.

The Assertions in HTML 5

By Rick Jelliffe
May 19, 2009

Lets look at the assertions in draft of HTML 5: The Markup Language which collects constraints about the markup: the kinds of things that are susceptible for schema testing.

Schematron on the Browser: JavaScript, CSS3 selectors, JQuery, Regex, JSON

By Rick Jelliffe
May 14, 2009

Schematron run from inside JavaScript on the web-browser, editing structured documents/data trascribed to HTML. Click "validate" and a box comes up with a list of the validation problems; click on of those and the corresponding text or element is background-highlighted. Very slick. 300 lines of code only.

Converting XML Schemas to Schematron (#14): beta available

By Rick Jelliffe
March 9, 2009

The beta release of my open source XML Schema validator is available now, from Schematron.com.

Running Schematron: the evolution of the pipeline

By Rick Jelliffe
February 24, 2009

Here is a test: when you hear the terms "layering" and "pipelines" are they abstract gibberish which bear no hard relation to the way that you develop? This post looks at how Schematron and parts of DSDL can be implemented in a pipeline. In order to explain the design of the latest release of Schematron, I thought it would be useful to show how the Schematron design has changed over the last decade to involve mulitple stages.

Running Schematron: bat/shell, Ant, XProc

By Rick Jelliffe
February 20, 2009

I thought I would write a little blog item about running Schematron in batch environments. Here are examples for command-lines, Ant and XProc.

Schematron 2009 released

By Rick Jelliffe
February 20, 2009

The latest and greatest release of my (our) open source ISO Schematron validator is out now, available at Schematron.com. Schematron is a validation language for making assertions about the presence or absence of XPath patterns in XML documents; it is the most powerful of any standard schema language for validation.

Is Schematron a rules language?

By Rick Jelliffe
January 23, 2009

Schematron's assertions are held in rule elements, but is Schematron a rules language at all?

RDFa: not the flopperooni one would expect?

By Rick Jelliffe
January 16, 2009

The W3C's RDF effort has, in the main, been an enormous flop. Now it seems that RDF/Semantic Web is in a much more solid position than before, and if it is positioned now as a technology that fits in and augments existing systems, it has a chance of working. RDFa, RDF Schema in Schematron, GRDDL

Analysis 2009: Syndication forms the backbone of the Writable Web

By Kurt Cagle
January 6, 2009

The syndication model has long been a major facet of the way that the web works, but for the most part its been a largely single direction notification mechanism - you publish content, this updates a syndication queue, then...

Converting XML Schemas to Schematron (#13): Identify constraints

By Rick Jelliffe
December 12, 2008

This article sketches out how to implement the same functionality as XSD's integrity constraints in Schematron.

Converting Schematron to XML Schemas, part 2

By Rick Jelliffe
December 3, 2008

I have not written anything about converting Schematron schemas to XML Schemas in the 12 months since the last little article. So here is another approach for schemas that were not written to be XSD-conversion friendly: it is just brute force and ignorance (BFI) pattern matching.


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