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   RE: [xml-dev] Are people really using Identity constraints specified in

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Cox, Bruce <Bruce.Cox@USPTO.GOV> asks:

> Are business rules semantics?  I take that question to mean 
> that some business rules can be fully automated since they 
> are about properties of data that succumb to, for example, 
> XML Schema data typing, while others are more problematic and 
> may require methods not easily automated.  In the case of 
> patent document numbers, the goal would be to "ensure shared 
> data is recognized" and only then processed for the current purpose. 
> I certainly appreciate the benefit of using DTDs with their 
> lack of content validation.  Without that characteristic, it 
> is unlikely that the patent offices of the world would have 
> agreed on a common vocabulary for patent applications and 
> publications.  Now that we are on the verge of exchanging 
> instances internationally, that characteristic may bite us by 
> impairing interoperability due to significant variances 
> between the start and end tags for any given element.
> Document numbers are a special case, in that they are 
> critical to establishing the relationship among patents filed 
> and granted in different countries.  Accuracy is sufficiently 
> important to be spending millions of USD a year to correct 
> bad numbers provided by applicants or other offices.  In this 
> one case, I hope there is some way to express the validation 
> rules independently of custom code so that we can describe 
> the rules to each other unambiguously and implement them consistently.
> With XML Schema data typing, followed by Schematron, what 
> would come next to cover the residue?  

It's not clear to me that there is any residue: if you're willing to use
XSLT 2 and allow XSLT extensions you get regex and escape to Java/.NET
or whatever.  Combine that with the document() function and you can do
cross document validation as well.  What's missing? Perhaps a standard
for combining validation rules into a hierarchy (ala CAM?), or some kind
of generalized Ontological approach?

> I don't think anything 
> to do with document numbers can't be automatically validated.


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