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typing (was RE: Personal reply)

At 02:58 PM 3/12/01 -0500, David E. Cleary wrote:
>Because the XML instance conforms to a schema that says the value element
>contains a decimal number.

Answering "it is a decimal number because the schema says so" doesn't 
answer the question in any strong way - sorry.  That answer is predicated 
on exactly the kind of agreement I don't think we have here.

>If you do not want datatypes in XML, then I can see why you do not want 
>XML Schema. However, many people out there do want datatypes, and they 
>make application development much easier.

Data types are useful in an important set of use cases.  I don't believe, 
however, that data types are so important that their existence should be 
permitted to complicate use cases where data types are unnecessary, nor do 
I believe that they provide any fundamentally strong underpinning for 

>If you do not want datatypes, then stick to DTDs or a schema dialect that 
>doesn't support the notion. You can even generate a PSVI that has all 
>element content defined as anySimpleType and work perfectly fine with 
>schema aware tools and apis.

I don't object to data types as just-another-kind-of-labelling.  I 
virulently object to the notion that data types have any kind of strong 
intrinsic meaning, however, or that XML Schema should somehow be privileged 
because of the nature of the work (typing) that it performs.

Telling me "don't use the feature if you don't like it" isn't a reasonable 
answer to the kinds of problems we're addressing here.

Simon St.Laurent - Associate Editor, O'Reilly and Associates
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
XHTML: Migrating Toward XML
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books