OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]
Re: [xml-dev] Is an XML vocabulary a Domain Specific Language (DSL)?

Well it's a matter covered by laws and laws sometimes
differ or are interpreted differently by different people
so I'd better not try and elaborate too much. In the UK
when I was working on e-procurement systems and had
to hear about legal aspects of trading using electronic
documents, it was emphasised that the laws about orders,
invoices and 'invitation to treat', etc, address the *legal
entities* on each side of the transaction and it is of course
these legal entities which have the responsibilities - they
cannot hide behind the fact they might use a computer
to process their documents. Legal documents are, of
course, addressed to people, not computers, since it
is people who are bound by the laws. If we saw the
computer system as executing the order or invoice we'd
get in a mess with the laws. A computer system cannot,
from what I've been told, say, offer a product at a certain
price; it is the person 'behind it' who makes that offer - as
when a programming error leads to terribly underspriced
offer being made - you can't hide behind 'computer error'.
Stephen D Green

On 12 September 2012 19:53, W. Hugh Chatfield <csi2000@urbanmarket.com> wrote:

On Wed, 12 Sep 2012 12:51:39 +0100, Stephen D Green <stephengreenubl@gmail.com> wrote:

I'd say it depends if it is (directly or indirectly) executed (by a computer).
UBL - not usually (to have a business order or invoice document being 'executed' by a computer would be unusual, and alarming to auditors for one thing, perhaps with a few exceptions such as internal trading orders between departments in the same organisation, and it wasn't really designed for that example)

Stephen D Green

On 12 September 2012 11:59, Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org> wrote:
Hi Folks,


Are there some XML vocabularies that would be considered DSL's and other XML vocabularies that would not be considered DSL's?





I am curious why one would say that UBL is not a domain specific language - or why we wouldn't consider an "invoice" document as being "executed" by a computer.

I suppose a UBL transaction is not in the same league as a specific computer language instruction - but an "invoice" does trigger a specific set of actions within those classes of programs that understand what an "invoice" is (and I think in a similar sense as saying a "do-while" statement triggers a specific set of actions within those classes of programs that understand what this "do-while" means within this specific programming language).  

I think most accounting application programs have always expected data from invoices in electronic form as input - even if you had to key it in manually, convert from paper via scan and OCR, or receive it directly in electronic form, so I see no particular auditing issue as long as we have a way of according an electronic-only version of an invoice the same validity/authority as a paper invoice.  UBL's domain is the domain of all standard business documents that get exchanged between organizations (but not the actions that are executed in the receiving programs) and provides a global, royalty free, standard way of encoding that information.

So I suppose you could argue that UBL by itself, only describes the content of packets of information being exchanged, and does not, by its very definition, cause any actions unless acted upon by programs that are not part of UBL - but only understand what a UBL document is, and the underlying accounting concept of "invoice" and how to process it.

However, if you consider UBL based applications (say Tradeshift's cloud-based social business network ), a UBL transaction can trigger actions in the Tradeshift network, even before it hits the intended receiver/processor of the transaction.  For example, the sender (supplier) might have opted for instant payment so they don't have to wait for the normal 30/60/90 day payment periods from the customer.  So in this sense I think a UBL transaction can get "executed"....i.e. cause a specific set of pre-defined actions to occur, somewhat separate from the invoice processing by the customer itself.  (even so, I see where we could argue that the UBL transaction by itself only assumes a specific action by a receiving program, and does not per se define it.  Then again couldn't we say the same thing about a "do-while").

Am I missing something here?      If so, I will blame old age.  ;-)


CyberSpace Industries 2000 Inc.
XML Training and Consulting
Documentary/Multimedia Productions

UBL is in your future: http://goUBL.com

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]

News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1993-2007 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS