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Re: [xml-dev] The real world doesn't have an "other xyz", neither should your XML


On 2014 Feb 9, at 19:27, Michael Kay <mike@saxonica.com> wrote:

> Most attempts to categorize things in the real world are incomplete. 

A little while ago I stumbled on the 'NATO Supply Classification' codes (see eg <http://www.nato.int/structur/AC/135/faq/faq-e.htm> or  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NATO_Supply_Classification_Groups>).

This assigns a 4-digit code to all of the little bits and bobs that a well-found military chap needs to have about the house. It includes for example 1040: Chemical Weapons and Equipment; group 14xx Guided Missiles (every home should have one); 5310 Nuts and Washers (attention to detail); group 77xx "Musical Instruments, Phonographs, and Home-Type Radios" (for some reason, the Goon Show comes to mind); 8915: Fruits and Vegetables (presumably edible, but it doesn't appear to attempt a comprehensive list); 9925: Ecclesiastical Equipment, Furnishings, and Supplies (you never know when you need a field altar in a hurry); and -- finally, inevitably, and gloriously -- 9999: Miscellaneous Items.

Even NATO has an 'Other'. (Hmm: in anthropological terms, if there wasn't an Other to fall out with, pyrotechnically, there would be no need for NATO, so I suppose the contents of class 9999 Miscellaneous (expect the unexpected!) is in a sense what the whole enterprise is all about.)

I stumbled across this when I found an ... odd book <http://blackdogonline.com/all-books/nato.html> containing watercolours of selected items from the thesaurus.

All the best,


Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK

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