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RE: [xml-dev] Should an XML vocabulary be a Swiss Army Knife or a dedicated appliance?

> When you think in terms of "creating" XML vocabularies for 
> these business process using either approach, I hope you're 
> imagining that a lot of this "creating" will in fact be 
> "stealing", i.e., that you're not planning to reinvent 
> vocabulary for things like customer names and addresses, 
> invoices, and all sorts of stuff that every business in the 
> world needs to use 

There is a danger of course that if you use a vocabulary that is rich enough
to meet the needs of every business in the world, then you are taking on
board far more complexity than your particular business needs or can
reasonably afford. This is usually far more than just a few extra fields
which you don't have to use if you don't want them. You can put the customer
name in a single element <customerName>, or you can implement a 500-page
spec that ensures you will be able to capture every nuance of international
naming, including British royalty and Russian patronyms just as tasters.

(I bought a piece of furniture yesterday and noticed that the sales order
entry allowed a choice of dozens of different titles, from "Dr" to "Lt Col".
But could they handle Prof Sir John Smith? Probably not. Will they lose
business as a result? Almost certainly not.)

Michael Kay

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