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RE: [xml-dev] costs of bureaucracy (was Re: [xml-dev] Not usingmixed content? Then don't use XML)

.. Taxes are the classic "There Is No Alternative" argument here.  Are you really sure you want to use it?

I am in no way referring to the tax *code* ... those are purely insane and have nothing to do with schema.
But as Michael mentions, I am referring to , however insane the tax laws are, that I would much rather that the mechanism
Of reporting be extremely constrained and not open to any old kind of data I, as an individual, wish to send in.
This provides benefit to me as a user because it is more clear what is expected.
This provides benefit to the bureaucracy as it reduces errors trying to fit the multi-shaped peg into what is inevitably *their* square box.
And it reduces "creative interpretation" on both ends.

Seriously, are you proposing that every person should send in a tax report on a form of their choosing ? 
Or to be able to send electronically a filing in any data format they want ?
How much money are you willing to donate to the human staff required to individually interpret all these ?   And do you trust 
them more then computers ?   Like it or not, the whole *point* of bureaucracy is to produce a system that functions identically
reguardless of whom is running it.    In its day that was a very novel concept and provides a great deal of value to today's society,
along with of course the inefficiencies of it. 
If you are seriously proposing that, then I will stop here as we live in non-intersecting universes.
If you are *not* proposing that then what *are* you talking about ?

Now on the other side of the fence, I work for a company which sells a "XML Database" (quoted because that's slightly not technically accurate, but close).  It is "schema free" in the sense that schemas are not required, and even if present don't trigger automatic validation.
It is extremely useful to put "whatever you want" into the DB without any schemas.  Really nice.   But you can add schemas.
Its also useful to either early on or later add schemas and make use of them where you wish.
Not only does it support the type safety/coercions of XSLT and XQuery but some interesting things magically appear.
For example if you just happen to have a schema for a document, even an incomplete one, then the XML to JSON transformations
make use of that and apply the right type to say  <weight>3</weight> and convert it to  "weight":3  instead of "weight": "3" 
If you decide later that "weight" should really be a string then you can make that change in one place (the schema) and the system adopts.
I happen to like that.   And calling that a byproduct of a sick community is not really a useful statement.


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