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Re: [xml-dev] RE: The String Datatype is the Worst Datatype Ever Created

On Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 11:32 AM, Renner, Scott A. <sar@mitre.org> wrote:

Machine processing reads that address and calculates carrier routes for the post office, allocates packages and does route planning for trucks, etc.

Indeed, you can get normalized postal addresses (which basically convert strings to enumerations) for the United States and some other countries, but for the whole world?  Give me leave to doubt it.

Ireland, which is certainly a First World country, had no postal codes at allses until mid-2015; they aren't popular with ordinary Begrudgerians, and even An Post, which calls them "a 1960s solution to a 21C problem", doesn't find them useful: they exist mostly for the benefit of advertisers.  Since there are many buildings without numbers (known by more or less arbitrary names chosen by the owner or their predecessors), and about 35% of all buildings have neither names nor numbers, getting the mail routed depends fundamentally on the ability of postal employees to remember which families are in which houses at what times.  It's obvious that no enumerations will begin to work on a foundation as flimsy (but still workable, thanks to smart OCR mail sorters and a low volume by world standards that allows for human intervention) as this.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan@ccil.org
Knowledge studies others / Wisdom is self-known;
Muscle masters brothers / Self-mastery is bone;
Content need never borrow / Ambition wanders blind;
Vitality cleaves to the marrow / Leaving death behind.    --Tao 33 (Bynner)

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