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What the heck is "schema"?

A schema defines how data is organized in some particular system. Some specific examples include:

database schema
this defines what tables a database has and what type of columns each table has.
class schema
this defines what types of data a class has as well as what methods (functions) it provides, their return values and arguments
XML schema
this defines what elements and their attributes are valid in an XML file. The schema is stored in either a DTD or an XSL file