Re: limits of the generic
Jonathan Robie wrote: > I think there *is* broad agreement for integers, floats, doubles, strings, > etc. across programming languages and data representations. Yes, there is, just as there is 'broad agreement for' many other abstractly understood datatypes. What there is not agreement on in an XML-centric view is any particular instantiation of any of these types. That is, in fact, the point of text-based markup: accepting as a first premise that binary instantiations (let alone operations predicated upon those instantiations) are utterly local and shared only sporadically. Markup must therefore function as its creator's preferred identification of particular content. Where there is a contract in the form of a DTD or other schema, it is binding only upon the data creator who chooses to identify and then to abide by it. From the data recipient's point of view, that contract is no more than the data creator's undertaking to present particular classes of data in a particular consistent form. What any data recipient does internally with the data it receives is invisible in theory to the data creator, and in my experience most often invisible in practice as well. What the data recipient can do with the data it receives is utterly dependent upon how that data is instantiated for use. In short, to give up to some external datatype specification control of the specific local instantiation of data is to give up the possibility of uniquely local processing, and thereby unique local value added from that processing. Is that a reasonable expectation of a competitive business model which relies upon local, often proprietary, expertise? Respectfully, Walter Perry
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