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Definitive XML Schema, Second Edition by Priscilla Walmsley

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Chapter 16. Substitution groups

Substitution groups are a flexible way to designate element declarations as substitutes for other element declarations in content models. You can easily designate new element declarations as substitutes, from other schema documents and even other namespaces, without changing the original content model. This chapter describes how to define and use substitution groups.

16.1. Why substitution groups?

Substitution groups are useful for simplifying content models and making them more extensible and flexible. Suppose you have a section of a purchase order that lists products of various kinds. You could use repeating product elements, each having an attribute or child element to indicate what kind of a product it is. ...

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