Dealing with the vocabulary and the views

The purpose of the items covered in this section is to get some "building material" for the visualisation and procurement section (following later on) by filling the central multi-lingual vocabulary and two uni-lingual views.

The DTD of the message vocabulary

From the message model (Figure 6-11), I created a DTD (the section called cexml_message.dtd in Appendix F). This DTD contains a few extra attributes for builtobject, which are used by some of the stylesheets and python programs. They have nothing to do with the actual model.

The filling of the message vocabulary

From an English book with data on concrete elements [Goodchild, 1997], I extracted all prefab concrete elements (PCE), because prefab concrete elements were to be the terrain upon which eConstruct would initially concentrate. All data was entered into an XML file (the section called cexml.xml in Appendix G) both in Dutch and in English. The reader is encouraged to take a detailed look at the actual XML file in the section called cexml.xml in Appendix G, because it will really show the possibilities of this technology. From now on, I will use the phrase filled ceXML vocabulary to indicate this file, to keep in sync with the phrase filled LexiCon vocabulary, much used in the eConstruct project.

Generating the uni-lingual views

As explained in the section called The need for both a model and a view in Chapter 6, the message vocabulary needs to be scaled down to a view in order to be usable for exchanging information by an "ordinary" supplier or customer. Following the ideas presented in the section called The view in Chapter 6, (the section called in Appendix D) generates either a Dutch or an English view DTD. For this it uses propagate.xslt, rejoin.xslt and language-.xslt. To prove their existence, both DTD's are included in this document; the English one in the section called cexml_en.dtd in Appendix F and the Dutch one in the section called cexml_nl.dtd in Appendix F.

Creating the English and Dutch catalogs

The English catalog was filled with a few composite-solid-prestressed-soffit-slabs and reinforced-rectangular-beams and the Dutch catalog with kanaalplaat (hollow core slabs), voorgespannen-rechthoekige-ligger (reinforced rectangular beams) and voorgespannen-T-ligger (prestressed T-beams). Both catalogs are only filled with elements in their own native language! Only the Dutch is included, in the section called catalog.xml in Appendix G.


Both the model and the view are capable of holding real-world building and construction data. Also, the model can automatically generate the views.