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   Re: [xml-dev] Xml is _not_ selfdescribing

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Nicolas LEHUEN wrote:

> The subtle thing here is that apart from the hierachical vs. flat structure
> difference, very is no semantical "leap" from CSV to XML. Tag names are
> basically the same things as column headers. Therefore, there is, I insist,
> no more self-description of data in XML documents than in CSV files.

Not if the document is complete and correct, but if there is a mismatch between
the number of columns in the header and the number of columns in a row, you may
never know which column value is missing. Surely at worst, this is clarity at
the expence of potential redundancy?

> You point the fact that lots of CSV files don't have column headers. Fine.
> Then let's just create a CSV++ specification that enforce column headers. Et
> voila ! We got a so-called "self-describing" CSV format.

Isn't a header analagous to a DTD? It describes how a document should be
constructed, not necessarily how it is constructed. Surely the
self-descriptiveness during error recovery is not out of scope?


Marcus Carr                      email:  mrc@allette.com.au
Allette Systems (Australia)      www:    http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
       - Einstein


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