Names, Dates, Etc.

John Cowan cowan at
Wed Jan 13 21:18:35 GMT 1999

Simon St.Laurent scripsit:

> Applications will indeed need more than one name, date, or money amount -
> but will they need the information in multiple formats within the same
> document?  Or would they rather get all names in a NameML format, all dates
> in a DateML format, and all currency in a CurrencyML format?

Sure.  My point was that the comparison with HTML or MathML is
ill-founded, because those have fixed element types.  We do
not want a fixed element type "Date" analogous to "H2" or "over".

> Implementing
> these as architectures is fine with me, if you want to spare the odd
> element - but seeing them formally defined is most important.

You don't have to understand architectures to understand a
specific application of them, any more than you have to understand
SGML to understand an application of SGML (like, say, HTML).

In particular, XLink is an architecture, but this fact is not
mentioned in the XLink documents.
> This is possible, certainly - I'd like to see something more formal, more
> thoroughly XML.

Date parsing is very simple and well-understood, so IMHO it is
not worth using sub-elements.

> >This is the most culturally neutral form.  The term "surname" comes
> >from X.500 Person, and is admitted to be a bit misleading.
> >Bits about last name, first name, etc. are very culture specific.
> I spend a lot of time in my books apologizing about name formatting - first
> name and surname don't make sense in too many contexts.  Family Name
> usually means something, unless you're in Iceland, and even there it's a
> mix.

In Iceland, "surname" would typically be the first name, since that's
what they sort on.

> I'd really like to see something hammered out more formally.

The X.500 folks have done an unbelievable amount of work on these
issues, especially in the Person schema, and it would be silly
to reinvent that wheel.

> This sounds promising - I could probably even learn to pronounce , as point
> given some practice - but again, we need to get this made some kind of
> standard that people can find and use.


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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