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

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On Aug 24, 2004, at 11:02 AM, Michael Kay wrote:

>> 2. "Semantic" or "business rule" validation
>> "Syntactical" or "structural" validation is useful in
>> eliminating a certain
>> number of mechanical data entry errors, such as leaving out
>> required items
>> or putting strings in fields that require numbers (e.g. phone numbers,
>> dates, etc.)
> I was under the impression US phone numbers could be alphabetic?

Right, good point.  1-800-AAA-HELP etc. I wonder how many Web forms 
would accept numbers in this form?

> I am not convinced that the distinction you are making is a real one. 
> In the
> end, all the rules are essentially social rules.

Well, it is certainly a fuzzy distinction with a totally undecideable 
area in the middle. I do think it is a useful *continuum*, with schema 
validation being the obvious implementation choice for enforcing rules 
at the structural end, and procedural code being the obvious choice at 
the semantic end -- especially since most real organizations have 
running code that defines their "semantic" business rules today, and 
the challenge is to access it in a vendor / platform / language-neutral 

I wouldn't want to argue the point with you, especially since I agree 
that schema validation is all too often a solution looking for a 


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