Using notations to identify content formats

Peter Saint-Andre pstandre at
Tue Apr 13 23:00:57 BST 1999

John Cowan wrote:

> IMHO, natural-language (English, French, or whatever) descriptions
> are generally preferred to formal ones, as they are intelligible
> to more people and generally "live" longer.

What you say makes sense to help authors understand the notation format, but I want the
~application~ to "understand" the format so that it can validate the data at some level (e.g.,
a social security number has to be nine digits in length). Right now my DTD is validating
certain data through enumerated attributes (e.g., when there is a limited number of valid
values), but it's not validating data for which validation relates to format. Perhaps I'm
asking for too much....


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