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RE: Personal reply to Edd Dumbill's XML Hack Article wrt W3C XML Schema

At 7:48 PM +0100 3/12/01, Matthew Gertner wrote:

>Let me get this straight. I have the following document:
>	<value>45.67</value>
>What you are saying is that someone might want to treat "value" directly as
>something other than a floating point number? I can easily see how this
>element could be transformed into a boolean (e.g. greater than 30) for
>display, or into an integer (e.g. through truncation) for some other
>processing. But surely the original value in the original document is always
>a real number, right?

No, not at all. Without going to the extremes of some other posters 
in this thread, it could most certainly be interpreted as:

1. A decimal monetary type, as in COBOL
2. A fixed point number
3. An infinitely precise floating point number such as represented by 
the java.math.BigDecimal class
4. A double
5. A float
6. Some other variation of precision and width
7. A rational number
8. An imprecisely known decimal number with 4 significant digits 
that's plus or minus 1 in the last place.
9. An imprecisely known decimal number with 4 significant digits 
that's plus or minus 5 in the last place.
10. Build 67 of version 45 of Microsoft Word

Other interpretations are doubtless possible, and even make sense in 
particular contexts. There's no guarantee that the string 45.67 in 
fact represents a real number.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|                  The XML Bible (IDG Books, 1999)                   |
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