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   contractual madmess (was Re: The privilege of XML)

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costello@mitre.org (Roger L. Costello) writes:
>Isn't a data model a contract between the sender and the receiver?  If
>we have agreed to this contract then we can effectively communicate,
>right?  /Roger

I'm really starting to wonder if this data-model-as-contract business
wasn't overblown from the start, though I'll confess that it's taken me
a while to figure that out.

It's not like we agreed to any particular contract stating that you
would interpret this message a particular way, according to the XYZ
rules of the English language, right?  It's not like it took a signed
contract for me to turn a fax with a credit card number into an order
for a book from an individual when I worked in sales, either.

Strict data models have long been a means of coercing dumb computers
into "understanding" information in the way humans would like them too.
Maybe it's time, now that computers have come a long ways in processing
power, short-term and long-term memory, to start thinking about models
for processing information that allow computers at least the
interpretive leeway I had once upon a time when I was a Sales Assistant.

They're probably at least as capable as I was.
Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!
http://simonstl.com -- http://monasticxml.org


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