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> From: Rick Jelliffe
> But I do agree that the term "self-describing" does seem open
> for misinterpretation by anyone who has not looked at XML for more
> than a minute: it may suggest that XML forces one to use names
> from some global controlled vocabulary, or that it does more than
> a simple sanity check on the names.
In the XML world, 'self describing' seems to mean, self-describing, ie,
XML data holds all the information needed to process and understand it.
The problem is not with human readers (heck, they'll interpret almost
anything), but that calling XML self-describing ascribes magical
properties to, and/or magically simplifies machine understanding of, the
data (presumably due to the data being tagged). Which is likely as not
to mislead and eventual disappoint many people. Certainly I'd like to
know what descriptive power XML has that would allows us to declare
victory in this regard and throw away all our domain specific procedural
code and business logic, replacing it with a general problem solver.
AI researchers must be kicking themselves ;).
Bill de hÓra