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   RE: [xml-dev] ISO and the Standards Golden Hammer (was Re:[xml-d ev] You

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Michael Kay wrote:
>> Worse, the "data dictionary" fad was heavily in force
>> in those days and even the vaguely meaningful "LYNR" was being 
>> replaced by indecipherable crud like "A0942B"...
> I'm surprised at this perception. My recollection is that
> when data dictionaries were popular, everyone knew they had to
> call it "LAST_YEARS_NET_REVENUE" rather than every programmer
> making up their own cryptic abbreviation;
	That's the way it was supposed to be. However, many of the
braindead idiots who made up the "naming police" created at many
corporate and government sites ended up replacing things like
LAST_YEARS_NET_REVENUE with A0942B using logic like the following:
	"A" indicates variables from the "accounting" department. The
next two digits "09" indicate the primary node in that department's
hierarchical list of variables, The following two digits are the
subnode and the "B" is a version number.
	i.e. the names designated locations within the data
dictionary, and thus served the needs of the data dictionary
maintainers, rather than serving the needs of readers. One argument
for this approach was that it was "politically" neutral. In
corporations that had two divisions, each with their own idea of what
"LAST_YEARS_NET_REVENUE" meant or how it was computed, you could avoid
the issue of which of them was right by simply removing any
possibility of meaning from the variable names. Of course, it can be
observed that by avoiding the debate, one also avoided the opportunity
to build a consistent understanding of these variables...
	As bizarre as this may seem, it was actually quite common.

		bob wyman


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