Solution proposal for versioning problem

Jirka Kosek jirka at
Thu Jul 8 13:44:56 CEST 2010

Norbert Bollow wrote:

> call? I'm very interested in email feedback ideally by next Thursday
> July 15; I plan to circulate an updated version incorporating
> improvements based on such feedback on Friday July 16.

Hi Norbert,

thanks for your draft. I think that your proposal is missing the most
cruical thing -- exact specification how this versioning information
should be treated and processed by conforming consuming applications.
When doing round-tripping is conforming application required to not use
any functionality defined in a newer version of standard, etc?

I have very reserved position for such versioning feature -- it only
accelerates version proliferation, applications are then tempted to do
various magical things with document conforming to different versions of
standard in order to compensate bugs in some particular software versions.

I think that ideally such versioning should not be necessary -- if
document format is evolved in a backward compatible way you don't need
to know version information. You only need mechanism which will be
triggered in the case of backward incompatible change in the semantic --
this is namespace change in XML. And smaller future extensions can be
masked as a backward compatible changes using MCEs -- after some gray
areas in their definition are polished.


  Jirka Kosek      e-mail: jirka at
       Professional XML consulting and training services
  DocBook customization, custom XSLT/XSL-FO document processing
 OASIS DocBook TC member, W3C Invited Expert, ISO JTC1/SC34 member

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