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   RE: [xml-dev] syntax, model

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At 8:12 PM +0200 10/23/03, Danny Ayers wrote:

>Or am I missing something fudamental here - prithee tell, what exactly is
>syntax-based interoperability? What messages can be communicated by syntax

You are missing something fundamental. We exchange an agreed upon 
syntax. You send it with your semantics. I receive it with mine. 
Your semantics are not my semantics. There may be some overlap, but 
it doesn't have to be a lot. I may not be interested in the same 
thing you're interested in. For example, you say potato and I say 
potato, but to a store "potato" may mean inventory unit. To a shopper 
it may mean "tasty lunch". The store and the shopper do not have to 
share their internal models of a "potato" in order to do business.

The effort to standardize semantics and data models is an effort to 
require all parties to a transaction to have a single way of looking 
at the same content. That's doomed to failure. Different parties have 
different needs and experiences, and thus do not share data models. 
To the extent their needs and experiences overlap, their data model 
may be similar in this respects. But they need not be identical. 
There is no one semantic to rule them all. The real world is much 
messier than that.


   Elliotte Rusty Harold
   Processing XML with Java (Addison-Wesley, 2002)


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