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RE: 'is-a' Relationships in XML?

  • From: Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org>
  • To: stephengreenubl@gmail.com
  • Date: Mon, 03 May 2010 16:11:20 -0400

RE:  'is-a' Relationships in XML?
On Mon, 2010-05-03 at 19:52 +0000, stephengreenubl@gmail.com wrote:
> So making an 'employee' element  a child of an 'employer' element
> clearly implies some semantics that the employer 'has' the employees.

No - it implies things about the XML element. If you choose to
associate, in your mind or otherwise, the element called "employer" with
something in the non-digital here-and-now, that's up to you, but it's
doing more than XML does for you.

In a specific usage context of XML (often called an "XML application"),
such a relationship might be defined, but it's the application that
defines it, not XML itself. An application in this sense might mean
the XBRL specification, XBRL documents, and the way in which one is
expected to use XBRL documents - or it might mean a piece of software.

Getting from the digital world of bits to the here-and-now fleshly
world of atoms and smiles is an unsolved problem in general.


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
Ankh: irc.sorcery.net irc.gnome.org www.advogato.org

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