Data Types (was: RE: Dates in XML)

John Tigue jtigue at
Mon Jul 13 18:50:33 BST 1998

I would say that XML-Data is pretty good in terms of how many datatypes
it has. We could clean up some duplicates like int and i4 (and maybe one
or two more like that). Any more significant modification should be done
within the context of ISO 11404 and HTTP-NG.

A comparison to ISO 11404 (ISO/IEC 11404:1996 Information technology --
Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces
-- Language-independent datatypes) would put XML-Data in context of
relevant precedence. Anyone interested in LID (Language-independent
datatypes) should read 11404 or the papers of Brian Meek; the latter is
cheaper and his papers are on the Web. Meek's "A taxonomy of datatypes"
is very relevant and helps to set the stage for these types of

If the goal is to reduce the count of datatypes then consider the
HTTP-NG type system. It has only two numeric primitives, fixed-point and
floating-point. See the third section of for details and
motivation. The document's attitude is summed up by the following quoted
phrase though: "We use this approach, instead of specifying a
procrustean flock of predefined integer types...". Since HTTP-NG is
another activity of the W3C, synchronization of HTTP-NG and XML-Data
would be good.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew Layman [mailto:andrewl at]
> Sent: Friday, July 10, 1998 3:49 PM
> To: 'John Tigue'
> Cc: Bryan Gilbert; 'xml-dev at'
> Subject: RE: Data Types (was: RE: Dates in XML)
> Tim Bray suggests that there are too many datatypes defined.  
> What is your
> opinion on this?

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