Why XML data typing is hard
db at Eng.Sun.COM
Mon Nov 30 22:46:22 GMT 1998
Toby Speight wrote:
> Henry> Henry S. Thompson <URL:mailto:ht at cogsci.ed.ac.uk>
> Henry> In other words, if there are (natural) language/culture dependent
> Henry> aspects to our documents, then if we are good citizens we should
> Henry> use the xml:lang attribute to signal this.
A good "if" ... related: "if" the document is directly created or
consumed by humans, we should use some locale tagging. ("xml:lang"
identifies language, not locale!)
> It looks attractive at first sight, but think of the burden you're
> placing on processors ... readers now
> need to know (enough about) *all* the locales from which they might
> receive data.
I'd contend that the "float" (or "r4") data _type_ doesn't have any
such localization issues. IEEE floating point is a binary spec, and
nobody's proposed not assuming IEEE floating point.
Rather, this issue is an encoding issue. By and large, having just
one (canonical) form is a lot easier for programs to deal with: smaller
code, easier to debug, faster in normal cases, and so on.
But: is this data being generated by/for programs, or people? People
have different priorities than programs.
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