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Subject: Re: Units of Measure

Rachel Foerster asked "Actually, if I understand the XML Recommendation
correctly, it's only the tag that must be human readable, correct?"

Dear Rachel:

One of the requirements in section 1.1 Origin and Goals in the XML 1.0
Specification, at http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml, does say "XML documents
should be human-legible and reasonably clear."  Norman Walsh adds "If
you don't have an XML browser and you've received a hunk of XML from
somewhere, you ought to be able to look at it in your favorite text
editor and actually figure out what the content means."  See XML
Development Goals at http://www.xml.com/pub/98/10/guide1.html.

I would add that it's reasonable to expect the reader to be an expert in
the problem domain if they're really going to read the XML document;
probably only somebody intimately familiar with EDI implementation
guidelines, and EDIFACT and X12 terminology, would understand the tags
and structure in igML, say; see http://www.igml.org/.

Some have advocated nonsense tags (like BZRTVN) whose meaning would have
to be extracted from some repository, in order to avoid offending those
whose mother tongue is not English.   Unfortunately, those tags would
clearly violate the human-legibility requirement since most people can't
pronounce anything without vowels.  By the way, I'm still waiting for
some clown to advocate neutral star dates because ebXML's ISO 8601 date
and time requirement uses the Christian calendar.

I couldn't figure out what John Motley meant by "An X12 message would
simply be another RENDERING with a different DTD."  What's X12 got to do
with a hunk of XML data? And wouldn't you ever need just one DTD? Why
would a DTD have to be rendered at all?  It's data that might be
rendered with various style sheets (or programs) to display the same
data with French, Spanish, English, or German labels and legends.  Is
John talking about rendering a DTD's element names in a different
language?  If so, I can't see the point of that since only programmers
would in all likelihood ever look at XML directly, and they deal with
English labels and commands all day long now in HTML, C++, and Java.

William J. Kammerer
4950 Blazer Memorial Pkwy.
Dublin, OH USA 43017-3305
+1 614 791-1600

Visit FORESIGHT Corp. at http://www.foresightcorp.com/
"Commerce for a New World"

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