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Re: [xml-dev] RE: The real world doesn't have an "other xyz", neithershould your XML

The issue with categorisation is to pick the right granularity.
"Other" is needed when your buckets are small, but you don't have
enough of them. You need either bigger buckets that cover more cases,
or every possible bucket. And if you pick small buckets, be sure that
you need them and that the cost of picking the right bucket for the
information every time is worth it. Shipping a package to the right
country? You'd better have every country you ship to in your drop-down
list. Asking questions on a survey? Assuming enough people answer it,
you'll get answers that are just as good with a 1 star to 4 star
rating as with a rating out of 10. And you'll get more people to
answer if they don't have to think too hard.


On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 10:07 AM, Bill Kearney <wkearney@gmail.com> wrote:
> At the very least if you're going to allow for anything other than members
> of a defined set then have something defined for the undefined.  Lest you
> get stuck with layers of cruft trying to decipher to crude attempts the
> operators will make attempting to do so on their own.  Which will still be a
> problem anyway.
> -----Original Message-----
> In my work, I've often preached that a Schema/DTD should model the business
> process.  When someone wants an "other" element or attribute value, it's
> almost always because the business process is ill defined, sometimes
> inadvertently, sometimes deliberately.  So long as no one expects very much
> from any machine processing of the value of an "other" element or attribute
> (other than recording the value, for example).  Yes, it's useless, but also
> probably harmless.
> Still, it's a laudable goal, Roger.
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