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Re: Fixing what's broke

  • From: "Pete Cordell" <petexmldev@codalogic.com>
  • To: "Chris Burdess" <dog@bluezoo.org>
  • Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2010 17:20:09 -0000

Re:  Fixing what's broke
Yes it is contrived.  It's exaggerated to try and show a point.  But it's no 
more contrived or exaggerated than your example of how short names can be!

I did some analysis of the lengths of names used in various schemas on my 
system and came up with the following chart:


The x axis is the number of characters in the name.  Each column is the sum 
of the percentage of that length name within each schema.

10 characters looks to make a peak.  Add a namespace prefix to that and your 
looking at:


I still contend that for those who haven't been taking the medicine for a 
number of years, that's a really strange way to do things!

Pete Cordell
Codalogic Ltd
Interface XML to C++ the easy way using C++ XML
data binding to convert XSD schemas to C++ classes.
Visit http://codalogic.com/lmx/ or http://www.xml2cpp.com
for more info
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Chris Burdess" <dog@bluezoo.org>
To: "Pete Cordell" <petexmldev@codalogic.com>
Cc: "Ramkumar Menon" <ramkumar.menon@gmail.com>; <xml-dev@l...>
Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 2:45 PM
Subject: Re:  Fixing what's broke

Pete Cordell wrote:
> When I was first introduced to XML, very much with a data-oriented hat on 
> where you have lots of small values, my initial response to seeing 
> something like:
> <trajectory:initialVelocityVarianceCoefficient>1</trajectory:initialVelocityVarianceCoefficient>
> was "are you kidding?  Next...".

This is contrived, however. I have no idea what the ordinary usage term 
would be for this *in the pertinent domain*, however let us suppose that it 
is "IVVC". Note that abbreviating to an acronym here doesn't take away any 
of the readability or third-party semantics here, since there is very little 
of either in the first place (I'm not a physicist and I have no idea what 
"initial velocity variance coefficient" actually means, and I doubt many 
others do either). The point is that in the domain identified by the schema, 
workers in that field will have a very clear idea of what "IVVC" means, 
especially since it is nicely commented in the schema. It's the *normal 
case* for people to refer to verbosely named domain artifacts using 
acronyms. Likewise, we don't choose excessively verbose namespace prefixes 
since they're just a prefix and all we really need to do is disambiguate 
them from other namespace prefixes in the document. So let's choose a rather 
more reasonable prefix "t" for the trajectory schema. This results in 
something like

<doc xmlns:t='http://weaponsofmassdestruction.com/missiles/trajectory'>

You see this all the time, it works and I don't see that there's anything 
broken about it.

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