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   Re: [xml-dev] Re: Identifying the Top 10 xml Issues.. something with leg

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At 03:00 24/07/2006, David Lyon wrote:
>On Sun, 2006-07-23 at 23:48 +0100, peter murray-rust wrote:
> >
> > Is there anything essentially different between business data and
> > genomic data? They both need to be created, stored, transmitted,
> > processed and perhaps repurposed.
>I would not know. Business data is usually strongly typed these days
>into strings, numbers, booleans, currency values and so forth. I don't
>know if those are pressing issues for genomic data.

CML has been developed in exactly this way (apart from the currency 
values).  It is a collection of what might be called strongly-typed 
microformats (though components is a better word for CML). It 
supports generic numeric and scientific computing as well as chemistry.

> > At a general level they both
> > require a formal specification (Schema), maybe an ontology,
> > domain-specific tools for precessing them.
>Often Business data doesn't need a formal specification or schema.
>This requirement has really held back xml or at least kept it in the
>domain of tightly coupled systems. We need to go loose-coupling in
>future, not insist that a programmer has sat down beforehand and work
>out the schema for every single document.

I agree completely. I now really only use the Schema to define the 
components, not how they are put together.

>Let me give you a real world example situation.
>Receptionist wants to type a shopping list. Must get schema created by
>IT. Loaded on a web server. Schema loaded on the web server. Validated.
>It is so complicated and requires so many resources that it just doesn't
>An easier way is to just embed all the type information and have no
>schema, no web server, nothing else. This can be typed:
>  <Shopping List>
>    Customer_Name&="Mr Fred Parker"
>    PON#=5645
>    Deliver_Asap?=True
>   <Product Item> PLU&="A256" Qty#=5 Rate$=4.56</>
>  </Shopping List>

Somewhere, I assume, you have to encode the fact that Rate is in 
dollars of some sort. Otherwise you cannot reliably convert it. 
Therefore you have to have at least a partial schema or ontology CML 
does this by having an extensible dictionary system and an extensible 
system of units (which does not but could include currency).


Peter Murray-Rust
Unilever Centre for Molecular Sciences Informatics
University of Cambridge,
Lensfield Road,  Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK


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