[September 22, 2000] GUIDE (Global Uniform Interoperable Data Exchange), announced by David RR Webber, is "an open interoperable XML markup specification for business information exchanges. The intention is to develop a vendor neutral, non-proprietary and open public set of XML markup methods within the context of ebXML, the XML/edi Group and the W3C XML syntax specifications work. Businesses and industries are adopting XML based information exchanges today and require a robust interoperable system for using XML syntax interoperably. Having DTD and Schema definitions is not enough by itself. Consistent software methods for the payload formats and the supporting repository definitions of the semantic rule definitions in those payloads and associated business processes are essential. GUIDE provides these mechanisms by leveraging simple XML syntax today, and also allowing the phased adoption of more advanced schema technologies as they mature in the future. GUIDE is specifically designed to be easy to understand, use and implement. GUIDE works with your existing XML parsers today so builds on your product base investment. The GUIDE specification has been formally submitted to the ebXML initiative and as such is open and public within the auspicies of ebXML. . . GUIDE is a XML format for describing business information interchanges between a set of endpoints exchanging transactions. GUIDE has a layered approach, so that each aspect of the GUIDE syntax is expressed as a separate markup layer. Separation into layers is a fundamental requirement in order to meet the ability to deploy the semantic web as opposed to the content-based web of today. The objective of GUIDE is to provide a simple open business interchange system for the consistent exchange of transactions." The current [2000-09-22] GUIDE draft specification "represents the blending of current practical work in a variety of areas with XML, including the latest W3C Schema and Datatyping drafts, MSL typing markup, SOAP based interchanges, ISO11179, tpaML and ebXML related work. It is not the intention that GUIDE replace all these other initiatives, but rather that GUIDE provide a consistent way to harmonize these more complex syntaxes into a format that ordinary businesses can use reliably and consistently for basic day-to-day information interchanges. This will also allow developers to create base implementations of XML parsers and tools that are simply GUIDE compatible, that can later be extended to also support more complex syntaxes as business needs dictate." The project is supported by a GUIDE implementors' mailing list; the technical specification is available in PDF and HTML formats, together with sample GUIDE Schema formats.
"Layers allow GUIDE to function as a repository classification system, a transactional payload format, or as a harmonization bridge between simple XML V1.0 DTD syntax, more complex schema dialects and proprietary or specialized markup. Layers also allow GUIDE to provide globally maintainable interchange mechanisms and provide for impact management when adopting future XML syntax enhancements within each layer. The goal of providing simple business use scenarios then clearly defines the principles and constraints for the GUIDE system itself. The semantic guide consists of three layers (categories) of information: firstly a description of the structure and model of the physical interchange markup along with the associated process actions and verbs; secondly the datatyping and business context markup; and thirdly a top level classification mechanism that allows for the grouping together of industry vertical sets of semantic guides to facilitate location and re-use of particular business functional components..." [from the v01 specification]