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   Re: [xml-dev] W3C Schema: Resistance is Futile, says Don Box

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On Tue, Jun 11, 2002 at 10:44:22AM -0400, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> At 07:02 AM 6/11/2002 -0600, Matt Gushee wrote:
> >Data entry is a user interface issue. There are plenty of applications
> >out there that allow you to type in "June 11, 2002", then store it as,
> >e.g., 2002-06-11. I don't think anyone is saying end users should be
> >subject to such rigid constraints, or if they are they should be slapped
> >silly.
> That's a nice way to look at it if you come to XML from the expectation of 
> a GUI editor or forms-based system between the user and the markup.

I come from the expectation of having appropriate tools for different
types of users. Personally, I do most of my work in vi and have no
problem looking up and remembering the correct syntax for dates or
whatever. But if the user is not a developer and has no interest in the
code underlying their application, well, why shouldn't they be able to
enter a date in the way that is natural for them, and let the
application normalize it? 

> It's downright nonsensical if you come to XML from a more hands-on approach 
> where encountering markup on a regular basis is part of the fun, or where 
> conversion from existing documents is a critical part of the job 
> description.

Why would somebody who can't deal with date formats want to do that sort
of work?

[ Hmm ... technical writers may be an interesting borderline case ...
  but I think their numbers pale in comparison to those who are either
  clearly coders or clearly not coders ]

See, Bryan was suggesting that there is a problem with requiring dates
*in XML* to conform to a certain datatype or pattern. If the schema
language or an individual schema required some cryptic, proprietary
format I would agree. But any educated person can *understand*
'2002-06-11' without too much effort. The question I was addressing,
which I think was Bryan's point, was whether they should have to
remember how to type it. And in my view the answer to that question, and
the appropriate choice of tools, depend on what kind of user they are,
and neither has anything to do with whether schema datatypes are good
or necessary.

By the way, Simon, I've followed your writings for some time, and I
suspect you have a problem with the rigid division of labor between
developers/managers/peons etc. If so, I'm very much with you on a
philosophical level. For better or worse, I'm a bit more willing to
compromise with the ugly realities of 21st-century society.

Matt Gushee
Englewood, Colorado, USA


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