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   Re: [xml-dev] Fallacies of Validation, version #2

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 >From Michael Kay:

 > The strategy (validating the user's address) assumes that
 > you know better than your customers what constitutes a
 > valid address. Let's face it, you don't, and you never
 > will. A much better strategy is to let them (the user) express
 > their address in their own terms. After all, that's what they
 > do in old-fashioned paper correspondence, and it seems
 > to work quite well.

In old-fashioned paper correspondence, addresses are interpreted by 
human beings, and this is a perfectly fine strategy in an application 
that formats addresses so that they can be read by human beings.

But if I have a program that needs to be able to identify customers in a 
given region, or that needs to be able to compute the shipping costs 
before sending an item, then my program needs to know how to read the 
address. I'm not asking the customer to provide an address in a format 
that they might recognize, I'm asking the customer to provide an address 
in a format that my program can use. In that context, even if the 
customer finds it a little painful, I'm going to make them communicate 
at least the basic information.

For addresses, many applications have a certain middle ground. They 
insist on knowing the country and postal code, and perhaps street name 
and number, but allow other information to be added in a way that the 
program might not recognize. One more useful application of partial 



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