Using Mind Maps to Model Semistructured Documents
We often use UML diagrams for our software development projects, and also for modeling XML DTDs and Schemas , finding that although UML diagrams can effectively be made to represent DTDs and Schemas (either using Class or Component diagrams), in real practice, complex DTDs and Schemas produce unreadable, unmanageable, complex UML diagrams. Recently we started exploring other types of diagrams and unconventional methods which can be both useful for designing and modeling semistructured data, and as teaching aids or thinking tools. This experience also served to open our minds to tools and methods other than the recognized mainstream practices.
In this paper, we describe how we managed to use Mind Maps and a modified Freemind tool to successfully model, design, modify, import and export XML DTDs, XML Schemas (XSD and RNG) and also XML document instances, getting very manageable, easily comprehensible, folding diagrams. In this way, we converted a general purpose mind-mapping tool, into a very powerful tool for XML vocabulary design and simplification (and also for teaching XML markup, or for presentation purposes).
KeywordsVisual Modeling Mind Maps XML DTD Schema
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