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Re: How to avoid (minimize) errors due to copying,pasting, and

  • From: Hans-Juergen Rennau <hrennau@yahoo.de>
  • To: "xml-dev@lists.xml.org" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>, "Costello, Roger L." <costello@m...>
  • Date: Wed, 23 May 2018 07:07:38 +0000 (UTC)

Re:  How to avoid (minimize) errors due to copying
Hi Roger, dividing the problem into creating and checking resources, and focusing on the second, I think the magic word is *structured information*. Unfortunately, the awareness of structured information and their potential usefulness is very low. Or let me be more precise: the awareness of chances to use structured information creatively, spontaneously, inventively, in response to you needs of quality assurance, rather than along the trodden and obvious paths.

To illustrate the thought: imagine a specification written in docbook, and a CSV file compiling some data paths in the second column. The following XQuery (using an extension function offered by BaseX)

let $pathExpected := unparsed-text('paths.csv') ! csv:parse(.)//record/entry[2]
let $pathFound := doc("rethinking13.xml")/descendant::*:table[@xml:id eq 'paths']//*:row/*:entry[1]/string()
return $pathExpected[not(. = $pathFound)]/string()

gives me all paths found in the CSV, but forgotten in the docbook table. I do not think many people would have recognized this possibility, although there is a docbook file and a CSV file. So part one of an attempt at an answer is: SEE the structured information which is there.

While part 2 is: ADD it, where it isn't.

The rest is XQuery, or any other language speaking structured information as found in resources, natively.

With kind regards,
Hans-J├╝rgen

Am Donnerstag, 17. Mai 2018, 13:59:41 MESZ hat Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org> Folgendes geschrieben:


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?

/Roger



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