Re: Documenting an XML format -- how much detail?

Subject: Re: Documenting an XML format -- how much detail?
From: quills -at- airmail -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 07:10:54 -0600

At 2:07 PM -0800 1/14/04, Jon Jacob Jinglehymerschmidt wrote:

Has anyone here had to document an XML interface?

The product in question is an XML library, magic value
pair inputs (via HTTP) and it spits out XML. The
product also provides XML Schema (for electronic
parsing) and XMLT files (for HTML export).

that's nice and all, but some (10-30%) of the users
will need to read/parse the XML data directly.

The question is: how much should the "developer
documentation" document? One could argue that anyone
who cares should just read the XML Schema. On the
other hand, maybe it's good to give a
works-for-most-people walk-through of the likely
return results.

What do you folks think?

Are there "standard practices" for this? I'm delighted
to write a lot or a little (I get paid either way).
But what's the ***expectation*** in the XML community
with respect to documenting the XML other than just
handing them the XML schema file?

To insure that they understand you would need to do something like the O'Reilly book "DocBook", which is the documentation for the DocBook DTD. It lays everything out very clearly. You can figure out how everything works from that.

You can't do it in the same amount of time that it takes to read the DTD.


Documenting an XML format -- how much detail?: From: Jon Jacob Jinglehymerschmidt

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