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   RE: RE: [xml-dev] W3C Schema: Resistance is Futile

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Sort of.  Logical distinctions of names and types 
are not always applicable to natural languages if a 
context of use by a particular user requires them 
to either use very explicit rules for disambiguation 
or to accept ambiguity as a norm where the ambiguity 
has no real costs.  In the *real* world, we accept 
and enjoy ambiguity.  QNames aren't real world; they 
are systemic. 

It is dicey to say the name is the thing.  Even 
the QName is suspect unless one is wedded to the 
system identifier, (the URI) and then only as reliable 
as it is authoritative.  The result of that 
will be a struggle to establish and maintain authority. 
The registries quickly go from being libraries to 
language courts for arbitrating who's zoomin' who.   

The semantic web won't be a lot better than natural 
language at this. 

Fixed simple types are one way to say "in this system, 
you better mean this".  Fixed values in DTDs are 
the same thing.  Any data dictionary is basically 
just a contexualizing system and if one can have 
any doubts, the cost of doubt is borne by the 
user.   It will be fun to find out if the W3C has 
the cahones to accept the notion of pluggable types 
rather than simply fixing a subset of XML Schema.

Not new news but it's fun to observe that 
commedians are often more succinct about this than 
our experts.

My daughter's answer to "why do we drive on the 
parkway and park in the driveway?" was "Because 
the garage is full, Daddy."  Literalist.  No fun. ;-)


From: Eric Bohlman [mailto:ebohlman@earthlink.net]

>Why do drive up ATM buttons have Braille on them? *

The classic "free feature" scenario; if product B (in this case, keytops with Braille) can do 
everything that product A (plain keytops) do and cost no more to make, then there's no point in 
producing both, and lots of reason (in this case, the fact that injection molds are expensive) not 

How do we decide, when preparing a spec, whether a feature is a "free feature" as opposed to a 
"creeping feature"?  Presumably not the way the XSD WG did :)

>Why does Hawaii have Interstates? *

Premature name binding.  The program's name was wedded to its original scope, which later expanded.  
This one reminds me of "wParam" in MS Windows programming.

>Why do pants come in pairs but bras come in singles? *

The name of the interface was too closely tied to the implementation, which changed after the name 
stuck (also reminds me of wParam).

>Logic won't always get us all the meaning.
>(* thanks to George Carlin for making us think about thinking)

Did you consciously intend to make all three examples relevant to the issue of whether or not a 
schema language should specify a fixed set of simple types?


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