Questions ad introspection (xml) data ...

rony rony at
Thu Jul 14 07:47:52 PDT 2011

Hi there,

before deciding how to support the Introspect pattern, I went out and
looked through the specs at
<>, but also
what in "real life" the different xml-interface description files look
like, using for this purpose the developing installation, which
currently is a 64-bit Ubuntu VM.

Looking into /usr/share/dbus-1/interfaces and skimming throught the
interface files there, it is interesting to see that quite a few files
employ extensions exploiting XML namespaces. Particularly one extension,
e.g. in the org.fedoraproject.Config.Printing.xml employs a namespace
named <>, which looks
very interesting as it allows one to add documentation prosa. Although
there are other extensions for that purpose, e.g. telepathy related ones
(<>) e.g. in


    * Is <> a standard
      already? If so, where can one retrieve its dtd (it is not on the
      given URL) ?
          o Are there any tools (e.g. xslt-files) that are able to
            create nice looking :) documentation (e.g. in html,
            man-pages, etc.) from those source files?

    * What does one have to expect when sending an "Introspect" message
      to objects that have interface files employing extensions?
          o The verbatim interface file or
                + if so, how is a client expected to parse it reliably
                  and error-free?
          o an xml-rendering of the interface file that strictly adheres
            to <> ?
                + if so, is there a standard message that would yield
                  the original, unaltered interface file, such that
                  utilities can be devised that will be able to process
                  them, possibly creating automatic documentation off it
                  using dbus for transportation of the original files?

    * Can one rely that interface xml files that adhering to
      <> use
      always empty elements for <annotation>, <method> and <signal>? Or
      is it possible that (e.g. with the usage of namespaces) every
      element can be employed either as an empty element or one that has
      content (like documentation, annotation, etc.)?

    * There are "error"-xml files that do not use "introspect.dtd" at
      all, but the telephony extension. What would be your advice about
      using them? Would it be e.g. possible to request such files via
      dbus (or request all interface xml files via dbus, like a method
      to obtain a list and one method to fetch those files verbatimly)?

Sorry, that it seems that I have been almost overusing this e-mail list
with questions, but despite researching the Internet there seem to be no
authorative/explanatory/demonstrating information available, hence
turning to this list of dbus-creators/maintainers/and-people-in-the-know
for answers, that may be very easy for this group (yes/no answers would
be more than sufficient!).

Maybe these questions of a total newcomer to the dbus world tell the
experts what has been clear already with the given documentations and
specifications, and where there are open questions.



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