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This application 'addressing' is a great example. Now - notice that there are
about 207 postal authorities worldwide - and that each have about 5 address
formats - depending on price (bulk mail), delivery and location = so that gives
us about 1,000. The UPU and OASIS CIQ have done excellent work on all this.
This provides a great foundation to provide CAM templates that can
automagically sort out address format given context of country and delivery
Unfortunately when it comes to addresses people re-invent their own wheel
instead of putting effort into a global standardized solution.
Again - this is a microcosm of the fuel driving train-wrecks every day. 'Oh -
all I need to do is create a schema - address - I know how to do one of
Quoting Jonathan Robie <email@example.com>:
> >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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