Personal Names (was: DTD Question)

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Oct 22 19:45:25 BST 1998

Rick Jelliffe wrote:

> In some South-East Asian
> countries sometimes people only have one name, and don't use
> name-of-family.

_The New York Times_ is notoriously fanatical about attaching
English-language titles to names however inappropriately.  This produces
such weirdness as "Mr. Suharto" for "Suharto" (one name, no family name)
and "Mr. Oddsson" for "David Oddsson" (personal name and patronymic, no
family name either), to mention only heads of state.

> So the idea of just allowing
> <!ELEMENT person ( name+ )>
> <!ELEMENT name   ( #PCDATA )>
> <!ATTLIST name   type NMTOKENS "CommonName">
> <!-- Example roles are
>         OfficialName, NickName, FamilyName, SurName, GivenName, Alias,
>         FirstName, MiddleName, LastName -->

Sequencing (i.e. alphabetizing in alphabetic languages) is so important
that it's essential to carry around a sort key, which is what the
"surname" attribute(s) represent.

> <name type="StageName">The King of Bubble and Skank</name>

As opposed to Bubble and Squeak?

> <name type="AustralianMistake">Jeff Jolly</name>
> <name type="JapaneseMistake">Lick Jellyfish</name>
> <name type="TaiwaneseMistake">Rick, Jelly Furry</name>


> In fact, I doubt that the idea of "a schema" for a document is the way to
> go. It seems to me that every different use of a document might require some
> schema optimized for that use.

Sounds like architectural forms to me!  (Tell me again why we are
obsessively reinventing the wheel?)

John Cowan		cowan at
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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