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   RE: [xml-dev] XPath 1.5? (was RE: [xml-dev] typing and markup)

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At 3:26 PM +0200 5/7/02, Matthew Gertner wrote:
>  I can
>certainly say from my experience programming in Java and C++ that I would
>prefer for a number to be a number and for a date to be a date, rather than
>having to constantly convert back and forth.

You're assuming that everyone agrees with you on what a date is, and 
what a number is, and so forth. If you think about it, I suspect 
you'll realize that's not true. Is a number floating point or 
integer? What are its maximum and minimum values? Does a date type 
include dates after 10000 CE or before 1000 CE? Strings are 
reasonably portable. Dates and numbers aren't in practice. The local 
type I want to use may not be the type you want to send. XML lets us 
talk to each other in spite of that.

The schemas data types spec tries to address these problems by being 
all things to all people, but not all environments can handle 
integers that can exceed a googoolplex or dates that precede Julius 
Caesar. Your date type and my date type are not necessarily the same 
thing. Your number type and my number type are not necessarily the 
same thing.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          The XML Bible, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds, 2001)           |
|             http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/bible2/              |
|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764547607/cafeaulaitA/   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://www.cafeconleche.org/    |


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