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Re: [xml-dev] RE: Make implicit structures explicit

On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 11:32 PM, Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org> wrote:

Your responses have surprised me.
Consider this mathematical equation:

3 + 2 * 6

I think most people would agree that it is useful (even best
practice) to add symbols to that equation to make explicit the
order of evaluation:

3 + (2 * 6)

How is that different from adding symbols to make explicit the
order of aircraft transitions:
Once again, and as always, much depends on who the receiver is and what the receiver expects. If the receiver expects an ordered list, then an ordered list is all that is needed. If the receiver is a person, then consider the case of outline editors. The whole purpose of an outline editor is to make it easy to move parts of the outline into new orders, and no person wants to have to track the order explicitly beyond the visual ordering. Let the editing program handle the numbering or the links, but behind the scenes.

Personally, I have set my text editor to display line numbers, for easy reference, and that might sound like I contradict myself. But if I were to output my text file in some simple xml format, one sentence after another, I wouldn't bother to number them. Let the receiving program do that, if needed.

Or consider what an awkward nuisance it is to order items in RDF. Of course, a processor can always choose to ignore order, where present.

The "best" way may vary with receiver and application, but I would rarely want to bother with having numbered annotation where order were already built in.

Or concisely, DRY: Don't Repeat Yourself.


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