R: AGAIN: sharing the data (with XML)

emilianoscampoli@alice.it emilianoscampoli@alice.it
Tue Oct 10 15:45:37 CEST 2006

XML can represent our archives out of a DBMS and it can be a useful language to interchange our data. Like RSS, an XML file that is formatted with a schema can be read from an application that works like a news aggregator, or from other software that allow us to make queries and search for information. A web service for archaeology would be an instrument that reads and processes all archaeological data formatted with a simple schema placed on the web. But how is possible to make this schema? Is it possible to make a Simple Archaeological Schema that will be used in many countries? 
I think that XML data on the web will be important to join our data but it is not simple to run.
First we can re-use RSS like a container of archaeological data, with a slightly modified css that can represent our "ArcheoFeeds". Then we can use our CSS in the web aggregator instead of the default one. For example:

<rss version="2.0">
<title>Excavation of via Castellani, Florence</title>
<link> http://www.archeofirenze.unisi.it </link>
<description>Scavo condotto tra il 2000 ed il 2004 a Firenze in via Castellani dietro gli Uffizi.
-Site location:<span class="site_location">via Castellani, Florence, Italy</span>
-Intervention type:<span class="site_intervention_type">Excavation 2000-2004</span>
-Responsible:<span class="site_responsible">Gino Strada</span>
-Biblio:<span class="biliographic_references"><p>ciao, ciao</p><p>Goodbye</p></span>
<description>Edificio costruito tra XIII e XIV secolo con fondazioni ad arco
<span class="item_life">XIII,XIV,XV,XVI,XVII,XVIII,XIX,XX</span>
<span class="item_birth">XIII</span>
<span class="etc">Info supplementari</span>
<category>URL of list of categories in the item title element</category>

So we have for each excavation one RSS file with the most important <item>; each <item> can link to another x(h)tml page wich contain more data.

Moreover an XML document with a comprehensible schema can be trasformed in others XML documents with others schemas according to our requirements; shortly 
desktop(1) DBMS(1)  >  XML(1) with schema (1) on server > XSLT processor > XML(2) with schema (2) in desktop(2) > DBMS (2) > ......

The most importat thing is that our schemas are comprehensible and not exactly the same. With XSLT we can built easy ways to interchange our datas and to trasform the hierarchical structure of XML documents.

Emiliano Scampoli
University of Siena

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