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At 2003-02-15 09:37, G. Ken Holman wrote:
>At 2003-02-15 11:03 -0500, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>>Curiously, there seems to be much more interest in using XML for
>>documents in mainstream companies than there was when I was working for
>>companies trying to cater specifically to the structured document market.
>Because XML 1.0 is easy for documents and the evolution of the W3C
>specifications has not been respecting the ease of use for document models
>or document use. For example, knowing a text construct validly represents
>a number while still being able to access it as the original string of
>text authored by the user.
I'm not sure I follow you here. What specs prevent you
from accessing the original string? XML Schema certainly
doesn't: the input infoset is, by definition, unchanged by
XML Schema processing.
I'm astonished to see document people disowning the idea of
datatyping, as if better datatyping (and the failure of #PCDATA
to provide the constraints we wanted, for things like numbers
or dates or other simple datatypes) had not been one of the
most frequently mentioned desiderata in discussions of markup
among professional DTD designers, in the years 1986-1998.
Datatyping is in XML Schema NOT because the database people
crammed it down our throats, but because both the data people
and the document people in the WG (who included, at various times,
Paul Grosso, Murray Maloney, Eve Maler, Murata Makoto, and
myself) wanted it. If the database and programming language
people had wanted NOT to have simple typing, we would have
had some serious disagreements.
It seems to me that people are reacting to tone and to the
presence of people with Other Interests, more than they are
reacting to the substance of the matter. It is certainly
irritating that database people don't seem to know that
datatypes are important for documents as well as for data
(like David Megginson, I deplore these terms but I'll use them
as shorthand), and think they forced their adoption by themselves,
over the resistance of document people. But that, too, is
a sociological fact (preconceptions coloring perceptions),
not a technical one.