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Ever since XML Schema started to evolve and the talk about datatypes in XML
took off, I've been wondering secretly why XML validation needs the concept
of datatypes at all. XML is a plain text format, so content validation in
XML should be no different from regular pattern matching. Or why should it?
A string of three digits may be numeric to an application, but stored or
transmitted in XML, it's still just three characaters of plain text. If my
application wants an integer, all I'd do would be to check if all
characters are in the range 0-9. Regular expressions would be enough for
that. If possible, I'd have this check written in the schema, or some
special module of patterns attached to the schema.