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How to avoid (minimize) errors due to copying, pasting, andtranscribing?

  • From: "Costello, Roger L." <costello@mitre.org>
  • To: "xml-dev@lists.xml.org" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Thu, 17 May 2018 11:59:34 +0000

How to avoid (minimize) errors due to copying

Hi Folks,

I am working on a project that has created a large, complex data specification. There are tables in the data specification, from which I created Schematron rules. The tables specify a bunch of codes. When I created the Schematron rules, I accidentally missed some of the codes. I discovered this omission only after considerable effort and expense.

It got to thinking about all the other places along the path to creating the data specification where data might have accidentally been dropped, altered, added, or put in the wrong place. I don't know, but I suspect the data specification was produced something like this: several subject matter experts jotted down some ideas on a piece of paper and handed it to another person who typed up their ideas. [Potential for errors at this step] The typed document then goes to a publication office which typesets and officially publishes the data specification. [Potential for errors at this step] Then, of course people use the data specification in their own endeavors, which provides more opportunities where errors may be introduced.

It occurs to me that quite possibly lots of errors are due to simple human errors from copying, pasting, transcribing. How to avoid this?


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