A Generalised Grammar for Three-way XML Synchronisation

We propose a general synchronisation grammar which can describe synchronization rule sets. For example, when handling three input files, we show that changes to elements can be described in terms of just seven possible permutations.

Solving Synchronisation Conflicts

Synchronisation problems, though diverse, can be categorized into distinct classes. For example, collaborative document editing often involves complex merging of multiple XML documents, with rule sets such as “mark conflicting edits for manual attention but accept all other edits” – a different rule set would typically be used in translation, synchronising Original English, Modified English and Original Japanese texts.

In practice the execution of this merge, while falling into clear categories, is different in each case, leading to the need to express and formalise rule sets. Thus, there being a need for a general synchronisation grammar which can describe synchronization rule sets.

Download this Confluence Paper to:

  • Understand the issues that arise when merging and synchronising XML data, especially in translation documentation.
  • Review the automated process that could be achieved with providing general rule sets.
  • Understand how to handle complex merging of multiple XML documents.

The formal description for how to handle all possible situations in a three-way merge of XML data sets provides a useful descriptive technique for the XML community. The intention is that this will reduce the complexities and cost of automatic merging of XML data sets, and enable many manual, tedious and error-prone processes to be automated.

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