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Created: February 16, 2001.
News: Cover Stories

OASIS Announces Technical Committee for TREX.

An announcement from Kark Best and James Clark describes the formation of a new OASIS Technical Committee for TREX (Tree Regular Expressions for XML). The purpose of the TREX TC is "to create a specification for a schema language for XML based on the TREX proposal. The key features of TREX are that it: is simple, is easy to learn, uses XML syntax, does not change the information set of an XML document, supports XML namespaces, treats attributes uniformly with elements so far as possible, has unrestricted support for unordered content, has unrestricted support for mixed content, has a solid theoretical basis, and can partner with a separate datatyping language (such W3C XML Schema Datatypes). The projected date for the first OASIS Committee Specification is 1-July-2001.

TREX (Tree Regular Expressions for XML) "is a new language for validating XML documents." James Clark wrote: "Calling TREX a schema language is perhaps misleading: it's goal is purely validation. It doesn't aim to assist in interpreting or processing the document. The post-validation infoset is exactly the same as the pre-validation infoset. You can find more, including a tutorial, a (relatively) formal spec and a sample implementation in Java on top of SAX2 at TREX is basically the type system of XDuce with an XML syntax and with a bunch of additional features (like support for attributes and namespaces) needed to make it a practical language for structure validation. Of existing Schema languages, it's closest to RELAX. It's not tied to any particular datatyping language; rather, the idea is that you can plug whatever datatyping language you want..." The specification says: "A TREX pattern specifies a pattern for the structure and content of an XML document. A TREX pattern thus identifies a class of XML documents consisting of those documents that match the pattern. A TREX pattern is itself an XML document..."

From the 2001-02-16 announcement:

Date:      Fri, 16 Feb 2001 12:06:46 -0500
From:      Karl Best <>
Subject:   OASIS TC call for participation: TREX

A new OASIS technical committee (TC) is being formed. The TREX Technical Committee has been proposed by James Clark, individual member (chair); Norman Walsh, Sun; Eric van der Vlist, individual member; John Cowan, Reuters Health; Arjun Ray, individual member; Michael Fitzgerald, individual member; and Michael Smith, individual member.

The request for a new TC meets the requirements of the OASIS TC process, and is appended to this email.

To become a member of this new TC by the first meeting you must notify the committee chair, James Clark (, of your intent to participate at least 15 days prior to the first meeting and then you must participate in that first meeting, which is scheduled for 5 April, 2001. You should also subscribe to the TC's discussion list. Note that you must be eligible to participate before you may become a member of the TC or subscribe to the TC mail list; the eligibility rules require that you belong to an OASIS member organization or be an Individual OASIS member.

(For the procedure for joining after the first meeting see the TC process at

The mail list is for committee discussions. TC members as well as any other interested OASIS members should subscribe to the list. Do this by sending a message to with the word "subscribe" as the body of the message. Your subscription request must be authorized by the chair. (Note that subscribing to the mail list does not make you a member of the TC; to become a member you must contact the TC chair as described in the above paragraph.)

Karl F. Best
OASIS - Director, Technical Operations
978.667.5115 x206

TREX TC Request

This is a request to form a TC. Here is the information required by the OASIS process for the formation of a TC.

The name of the TC is "TREX".

The purpose is to create a specification for a schema language for XML based on the TREX proposal ( The key features of TREX are that it:

  • is simple
  • is easy to learn
  • uses XML syntax
  • does not change the information set of an XML document
  • supports XML namespaces
  • treats attributes uniformly with elements so far as possible
  • has unrestricted support for unordered content
  • has unrestricted support for mixed content
  • has a solid theoretical basis
  • can partner with a separate datatyping language (such W3C XML Schema Datatypes)

The deliverable is a specification for the language. The projected date for the first Committee Specification is 1 July 2001.

The TC will conduct business in English.

The first meeting will be a phone meeting on Thursday 5th April at 10:30am US Eastern time.

The proposed meeting schedule for the first year is to meet by phone every 2 weeks until the delivery of the first commitee specification and thereafter once every 4 weeks. The meetings will take place on Thursdays at 10:30am US Eastern time.

The initial members of the TC are as follows:

James Clark <> (individual member)
Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@East.Sun.COM> (Sun)
Eric van der Vlist <> (individual member)
John Cowan <> (Reuters Health)
Arjun Ray <> (individual member)
Michael Fitzgerald <> (individual member)
Michael Smith <> (individual member)

The chair is James Clark.

The phone meetings will be sponsored by James Clark.

Principal references:

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