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Re: Can XML Schemas do this?


xml lists of numbers
Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> paul@p... (Paul Prescod) writes:
> 
>>You've reversed the issue of bother. When you allow any order you
>>"bother" the user with the responsibility of choosing an order. From
>>the user's point of view, the order matters unless they are told
>>otherwise. 
> 
> 
> Hmm...  I guess I just don't believe that.
> 
> As a user dealing with information, I tend to prefer to keep whatever
> order I had for information originally.  If I'm copying structured lists
> of numbers, for instance, having to copy columns out of order is a huge
> nuisance.  Typing them in as they came is easier and results in fewer
> transpositions.

I would most often use attributes for columns of numbers. But yes, I can 
see this situation if you are using elements.

> I don't encounter too many users who are bothered when told they can
> enter information or markup information in whatever order came with the
> information.  I do encounter users who are annoyed every time someone
> tells them to change the order.

The issue is not that they are bothered. The issue is that the 
irrelevance of the order must now be documented and they must read the 
documentation to know what is going on. This also holds for everyone 
writing software that will process the information. They must also keep 
in mind that the ordering is under user control _and yet meaningless_. 
Otherwise they will fall into traps of depending on the ordering they 
saw in some particular input document or of ascribing meaning to the 
ordering -- even though that ordering could be messed up by an 
intermediary process.

  Paul Prescod


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