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United States

U.S. House of Representatives Makes Resolutions in XML 164

RennieScum writes: "The House of Representatives is turning to technology with their test of XML for use with resolutions according to this article. It reports that the HR has made 100 DTDs and uses Microsoft Word and a special converter to do the job. Testing has begun and their goal is to start using it in January of next year. See also http://xml.house.gov/ And it looks like the DTDs will be free to use and distribute!"
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U.S. House of Representatives Makes Resolutions in XML

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  • Now we can all make our own crappy laws using XML! More downloads for Xerces.
  • If the government creates something original for it's use how can there be any arguement as to if it should be availible to the people..? (top secret, national security stuff aside)??
    • If the government creates something original for it's use how can there be any arguement as to if it should be availible to the people..?

      Considering the current government's flirtations with Big Business (not to be confused with Big Brother), I'm actually surprised that they didn't just publish their bills as Word documents.

      And looking at the XML documents, it does appear that they're using some non-W3C, Microsoft-like XML stylesheet format. I'd argue that this is favoring one commercial product (Internet Exploder) at the expense of all others.
      • Um, did you read the source? Or did you just open it up in IE? Because the source is clean (though not prettily formatted:), pure, 100% XML. In fact, there's only one namespace declaration in the entire thing (XLink, which they use to embed hyperlinks between various parts of the documents). All in all, this is some of the cleanest XML I've ever seen (including XML I've written myself by hand:)

        But if you opened it up in IE, IE applies a stylesheet to all xml documents which gives you a nice collapsible view of the document tree (which is often easier to read than the source:)

  • Ugh. DTDs?!? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Aquaman616 ( 131268 )
    I guess that's the government for ya... why in the *hell* would you use DTDs when XML Schemas are so much better???

    Oh well... at least it's a step forward - I'll applaud them for that.
    • Check out the source for http://xml.house.gov/Members/mbr107.xml [house.gov] and then the corresponding schema: http://xml.house.gov/Members/member-schema.xml [house.gov]
      • Good point, I didn't notice that when I first posted. Still though, they're using namespaces which isn't part of the DTD definition. So the issue isn't that they're using outdated technology, it's that they're using proprietary extentions.
    • Re:Ugh. DTDs?!? (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well, DTDs are just a less-expressive form of Schemas, correct?

      Why couldn't you just take all of their DTDs and rewrite them as schemas? You could then donate that back to them, and i'm sure they'd be happy to offer it as a download option.

      Hell, maybe someone could make an XSL stylesheet to turn DTDs into schemas :)

      -- super ugly ultraman
    • Why use DTDs?

      Have you ever tried to use XML Schema? It's a bloated peice of ****. Relax is tons better. And for the government's purposes, DTDs work much better and are an ISO standard.

      • Using XML to describe XML simply makes sense. DTD's are antiquated, and I can't even transform against them for meta-meta-data tasks.

        • Using XML to describe XML simply makes sense.

          In this case RELAX [oasis-open.org] is far superior, it has both an XML and a non-XML represenatation and is build on top of a clean model by some brilliant fellas.

          XML Schema, OTOH, is just a bloated mess.

          DTD's are antiquated

          Perhaps, but they are readable. XML Schema is anything but readable.

          and I can't even transform against them for meta-meta-data tasks

          Oh, now that's something you do every day. Using XML syntax for everything is just plain stupid. IF you have to do transforms, use RELAX, it has a cleaner model anyway... doing transforms on XML Schema is like pulling teeth.
  • DTD is sooo 1999. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by km790816 ( 78280 ) <wqhq3gx02@sneakem[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday July 04, 2002 @01:32PM (#3823148)
    This is the government for you.

    When every tool under the sun is using XML schemas, the House is announcing their support for DTDs.

    I guess it's still a step forward.
    • When every tool under the sun is using XML schemas, the House is announcing their support for DTDs.

      Jeezus, why would you even consider using Schemas when there is there is Relax-NG [thaiopensource.com], a much better, simply, and based on theory system. Note the author of that document I gave; it's James Clark; if you are using an XML parser, chances are good it was written by him (expat). Heck, there is not even any normative spec for XML-Scheme!

    • But so is the constitution and noone much complains about upgrading that to version 2.0
      • Well that is if you don't count the Bill of Rights and the rest of the AMENDMENTS to the Constitution.

        Seems to me like it's been at 2.0 RC X.x for quite some time.
    • by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @02:41PM (#3823438) Homepage
      Your government must make an attempt to stick to standards when they are dealing with accessibility. They have to use technologies that have had some time to settle. By virtue of you pointing out that DTDs are 3 years old and you consider them obsolete, you reinforce the point that by selecting bleeding-edge formats/technologies/etc, they might be investing time and some of your money into something that wont be around in a year or two.

      And then in a year or two, you'd just complain how the government cant choose their technologies right.

      Start thinking about where you're getting this 'government is stupid/terrible/lazy/blah/blah' message from - alot of it is from private interests that enjoy the freedom and lack of public accountability to select their technological infrastructure based on higher demoninators than your government should. While the 'saavy' factor will always be higher in the private sector, dont *always* take this as an indication that government must be technologically inept (although, like anybody who's core competancy isn't technology, they frequently are) ... often they are doing something much smarter than private interests give them credit for. All of this is moot, of course, when discussing moves the government makes on _behalf_ of powerful private interests, but thats another argument and does not apply in this situation.

      It's like being a private teacher vs public. Private teachers can probably be more 'progressive', but at the cost of maybe teaching in ways that might soon be proven to be ineffectual or bad, while public systems generally must move slower in order to ensure that the ideas have been vetted and that everyone has a moderately equal opportunity to access the fruits of the system.

      Like parents, sysadmins, anybody who has an onus to cater to the greater good rather than the richer good, sometimes you have to make decisions that are going to be publicly derided even if its for the common good. Sometimes you have to just give the benifit of the doubt, though I realize this kind of attitude is in short supply these days.

      Ok, rant off.
      • A rare piece of insight indeed.
        Listen up kiddies.
      • I agree. Mod parent up.
      • The real problem is that XML itself is too new. DTDs turned out to be too clumsy and limited, so schemas replaced them. What Congress really needs to do is wait 2-5 years for XML to settle down. By jumping in prematurely, Congress is running into pitfalls like the use of DTDs.
        • XML is unlikely to go away (you'll still be able to read XML docs 50 years from now, even if basic formats like JPEG, etc., are totally replaced).

          Not to mention in case of any major changes, it doesn't take long to create an XSLT script to convert your XML into anything.
  • Uhhh.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Verizon Guy ( 585358 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @01:37PM (#3823162) Homepage
    Going to http://xml.house.gov/Members/mbr107.xml [house.gov] renders a perfectly viewable directory of representatives in Internet Explorer, but Mozilla dumps it all as raw text in one giant paragraph. What gives?!?
    • Maybe because IE supports the xml STANDARD more than mozilla.
      • No, it's because of the way they use the XSL stylesheet. IE does not support the XML "standard" any more than Mozilla. Quit posting FUD.
    • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
      <?xml:stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="member-sorter-vb.xsl"?>
      <?xm-well_formed path="m:\xmltech\billres1\00-11-01\Members\mbr107. dtd"?>
      <ushousemembers xmlns="x-schema:member-schema.xml">

    • Stylesheet issues... (Score:5, Informative)

      by jaaron ( 551839 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @01:44PM (#3823198) Homepage
      It's because of the XSL style sheet they use. You can find it at http://xml.house.gov/Members/member-sorter-vb.xsl [house.gov]. (Use view source to see the actual XSLT). Notice that they use VBScript!
    • I think that's because IE uses a default stylesheet for xml documents, while Mozilla strictly complies to the standard and just shows the contents of the tags, without any style.

    • Re:Uhhh.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by MiTEG ( 234467 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @01:51PM (#3823232) Homepage Journal
      It's all screwed up with Opera 6.01 also.
    • It's the XSLT (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      in the second line of the xml:
      <?xml:stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="member-sorter-vb.xsl"?>
      in the 6th line of the above-referenced xsl document being used to transform the xml:
      <xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-xsl" language="VBScript">

      basically, they're using the MSXML parser to do their XSLT on the client-side. I've been working with this stuff for a while, and there are a lot of advantages to doing this. The MSXML parser is a lot more mature & well documented than whatever comes built into NS6 & Mozilla(if you know better, please point me to some good resources for working with client-side XSLT on these browsers-- i've looked everywhere).

      But it seems to me that public accessibility to to these documents should preclude this, and demand that the parsing be done on the server-side.

      Beyond that, the fact that they're using VBScript instead of JavaScript for their scripting is indicative of the fact that the people in charge of this initiative are hardcore MS-Heads -- ther's no reason for it, you can do some extremely complex stuff with the MSXML parser and JavaScript.

      I know this is paranoid, but my past experience has been that even people inside MS use JScript if they can avoid VBScript... unless they're forced to use it for marketing reasons. Wonder who's in charge of this initiative.

      • I know this is paranoid, but my past experience has been that even people inside MS use JScript if they can avoid VBScript... unless they're forced to use it for marketing reasons. Wonder who's in charge of this initiative.

        IIRC, the ASP pages on microsoft.com use JScript; VBScript is great because if you know VB, you can learn VBScript in an hour.
      • Ummm... what about Transformiix? That would be the Mozilla XSLT engine, which is built right into Moz 1.0. Check out the project website here [mozilla.org].
    • Re:Uhhh.... (Score:2, Informative)

      by perlfool ( 102637 )
      The main reason it doesn't render in Mozilla is they used an old XSLT Working draft namespace "http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-xsl". The XLST 1.0 namespace should be: "http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform"

      See Unofficial MSXML XSLT FAQ" [netcrucible.com] for some info about the old Working Draft, XSLT 1.0 and Internet Explorer.

    • I get seperate paragraphs (yet mashed together), yet I can paste the data to notepad or this text box and it looks even worse.

      I can't post it because of this error:

      Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 6.2)
  • by jaaron ( 551839 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @01:39PM (#3823178) Homepage
    So the government tries to update their use of technology to use an open format like XML and publish the DTD's and inevitably the first 10 slashdot posts complain that the government is too behind the times because that don't use new (and better) XML schemas! Talk about geeks! :)
    • > the government is too behind the times because that don't use new (and better) XML schemas!

      Well, this is an administration, you know... So actually they can be credited for having been aware of XML at least a year ago. Had they been aware of XML schemas that it'd have taken another 6 months before the site got up, don't you think?

      I'm quite confident that nowadays the average PHB doesn't even know what XML stands for and is used for...

  • It reports that the HR has made 100 DTDs and uses Microsoft Word and a special converter to do the job.

    But if they really want an intractible problem, they should use XML/Schema!
  • Oh Boy! (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by rbeattie ( 43187 )

    Free DTDs!!! I LOVE DTDs! Wooohoo! We definitely don't have enough of those already!

    And who says a Republican government is only out to help the big guys. Free DTDs for all!

    Happy 4th everyone! Damn I'm proud to be an American today. Free DTDs!!

    -Russ

    • Oh man, this is the funniest thing I have read in a while. You almost made me burst out laughing out loud here at work, which would have been very embarrassing...
  • by kuroth ( 11147 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @01:49PM (#3823224)
    From the cited page [house.gov]...

    Pursuant to Title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code, these DTDs are not subject to copyright protection and are in the public domain.
    ...
    These DTDs can be redistributed and/or modified freely provided that any derivative works bear some notice that they are derived from it, and any modified versions bear some notice that they have been modified.

    Sorry, cupcakes, that's not how the public domain works. If you release it into the public domain, you no longer have *any* control whatsoever upon the modification, reuse, or redistribution of the work. The required notice clause listed above in invalid.

    Cite [stanford.edu], cite (#3) [templetons.com], cite [ufl.edu].

    Kuroth
  • ...even if they are using a what some on this site would consider 'suboptimal' technology, the government's incorporation of ANY technology is better than none at all. Hell, the Senate doesn't allow laptops on the Senate floor! Hopefully, as the 'mainstream' government begins to use more open-standards technology and technology in general, they will be more willing to defend it against M$ and any other company that tries to 'embrace and extend' it.

    My $0.02
  • by crucini ( 98210 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @02:00PM (#3823269)

    <bill status="proposed" name="CBDTPA">
    <sponsor name="Fritz Hollings" constituency="Disney">
    <violatesAmendment number="1">
    <violatesAmendment number="4">
    <contribution donor="Disney" amount="24500.00">
    <contribution donor="AOL" amount="33000.00">
    <contribution donor="National Association of Broadcasters" amount="25000.00">
    <excuse>Promote broadband adoption</excuse>
    <excuse>Save the arts from extinction</excuse>
    </bill>
    • > Save the arts from extinction

      Thats the best part! I always hated that excuse, especially considering how insulting it should be to artists.

      Stop and think about this - claiming the arts will die if hollywood dies is like saying the habit of breathing oxygen will die if the SCUBA industry goes belly up.
    • by twitter ( 104583 )
      The mention of M$ Word put me on alert, as have previous stories here which have demostrated that XML will simply be a container for propriatory data formats like M$ Word. Closer examination, however, reveals a much more horrible arangement.

      XML is dependent on unicode, as the US Government site's reference states. Follow the W3C [w3.org] to unicode ,

      Unicode is required by modern standards such as XML, Java, ECMAScript (JavaScript), LDAP, CORBA 3.0, WML, etc., and is the official way to implement ISO/IEC 10646.

      Unicode is owned by Unicode Incorporated [unicode.org] and all of it's documents and standarts are issued under a restrictive license [unicode.org] with a unilaeral change clause:

      Modification by Unicode Unicode shall have the right to modify this Agreement at any time by posting it to this site. The user may not assign any part of this Agreement without Unicodes prior written consent.

      Dare I compare this evil arangement to ASCII and other predecesors? To have IBM, M$, Sun and other OWN the very format your data takes and to be able to change it and break previous implimentations at whim, and YOU may not? Who wants to be a plump nickle that any thing vaugly resembling unicode in the future will be called a "derivative" and it's distribution halted? Is this not a collusion of comercial software vendors to control information at it's most basic representation? Does anyone else here see this as the ultimate extention of copyright? Evil, Evil, Evil.

      I'd rather see the US government continue to publish in the American Standard for Information Interchange. This extensible standard is no standard at all.

      • Standard HTML is just as searchable as long as you use the tags properly. One does have to wonder if M$ "encouraged" them to use this format.

        • Why not html? Because they're not just describing text here. There're all sorts of data associated with a piece of legislation, and an extensible - not a hyptertext - markup language is the best way to do it.
          • What is this mysterious data that can't be expressed in HTML???? Blipverts [techtv.com]!!!??!!?? Maybe they'll put [w3.org] cartoons [w3.org] into the bill--to help explain why they passed it. Oooo...maybe they can put in complex equations [w3.org] so everyone will think they are smart [imdb.com].

            I think some people just believe XML is some sort of magical file format that should be used no matter what. I expect MPEG 5 will be in XML, then they'll wonder why the files are so much larger and takes 10x the processing time and memory to decode.

            XML may be useful in some places, but not everywhere. Replacing it with binary formats is bad because it will unnecessarily increase the filesize and resources to decode them. Using it for config files will require all programs to run an XML parser and make the config files less human readable. Using it to express laws will just make them inaccessible to the common person by requiring them to have expensive proprietary software (or software made by an illegal monopoly) to even view them.

            If they want bills to be searchable, they should be designing database tables for them, and allow the public to export the database (or subsets of it) in a standard database format. For online viewing, they could easily export the data into HTML (or XML) using PHP.

            Using "Microsoft Word and a special converter to do the job" is just stupid. Creating a program that allows some intern to key the data into the database would probably be easier and more effective in the long run.

      • The article mentions WordPerfect as well. And so long as the DTD is available, anything else that reads and writes XML will work fine.
      • Unicode is owned by Unicode Incorporated [unicode.org] and all of it's documents and standarts are issued under a restrictive license [unicode.org] with a unilaeral change clause:

        Have you looked at the copyrights for most standards? Try to get a free copy of the SGML or EDI standards? Unicode is wide open comparitively. Plus, if you're going to complain about vendor-owned consortia, you might as well whine about the W3C itself.

      • Paranoia.
        It shows how each line, name and term has an identifying tag, created by exporting the document from a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect into a
        special XML template
        They're usign a *tool* to help convert .doc and .wpd files to XML. They're just leveraging their assets (MSW*rd being an, ahem, asset) so that secretaries and regular folk can do the work of text entry in tools they are familiar with, which then gets converted into a useable format.

        Settle down, they're not trying to use MSXML engines to do the work. Sheesh.
    • You forgot the default value of "Save the children" in your <excuse> tags there...
    • Don't forget the usefulness of the <pork> tag.
    • this is meant as a joke, but it's a good idea!

      someone could have a metaserver which puts these
      additional tags into the offical descriptions of
      the bills.

      each could have links to the sponsoring groups of
      lobbists or grassroots which in turn could be
      crosslinked to show which bills are obviously
      just kickbacks, and which are really concerned with
      issues.

      • Neat idea...
        Just write a http proxy that applies an XSLT to the document. Generate the tag-values from the opensecrets.org database (if they have one).
        Could probably be done by one person in a week or two, if opensecrets keep a reasonable usable database, and are willing to cooperate.

        If I were an american I would be tempted to write the thing myself...
        It would be great to just go to a website and see all bills with a header that indicated which elected officials was involved, and their voting record and ties to special interests.

        Hell, if anyone wants to do this, I am willing to contribute just because it's cool...
  • by frank249 ( 100528 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @02:06PM (#3823293)
    It reports that the HR has made 100 DTDs and uses Microsoft Word and a special converter to do the job.

    The article actualy says It shows how each line, name and term has an identifying tag, created by exporting the document from a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect into a special XML template.

    That would make sense since most of the US government still uses WordPerfect [corel.com]. WordPerfect comes with extensive XML publishing functions including making your own DTDs.

    BTW Corel just announced that a new version of Ventura Publisher is coming out in the fall with cross platform XML publishing built in. The next version of WordPerfect is also going to have a much better XML publisher now that they bought XMetaL [corel.com].

  • don't even validate (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Steve X ( 11964 )
    heh, their XML documents don't even come close to validating. they say it's all beta, but wow, that's impressive. good to know my taxes are being put to good use - high-quality design. i think nsgmls says it best about their design:

    value of attribute "regeneration" cannot be "yes"; must be one of "yes-regeneration", "no-regeneration"
  • i think that they could have saved a buck or two by using open office. although, if it's not their money that they're spending, i doubt they care.
  • by jaaron ( 551839 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @02:11PM (#3823323) Homepage
    Actually, if you check the source, you'll see that they are using XML namespaces and schemas. Actually, they're using something called XDR (XML-Data-Reduced) which was developed by Microsoft and is upwards compatable with XML schema. I'm familiar with schema but not XDR. For more information, you may want to check out these links:

    And thanks to this poster [slashdot.org] for pointing it out.
  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rombuu ( 22914 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @02:12PM (#3823324)
    And it looks like the DTDs will be free to use and distribute!

    Great, now I can make my own crazy laws! Yipee!
    • Great, now I can make my own crazy laws! Yipee!

      Actually it's so that lobbyists [riaa.org] can make their own crazy laws [eff.org]. Yipee, indeed.

      • Re:Great! (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        No problem. My crazy law is that no-one (especially not the RIAA) can make crazy laws except me.
  • by codeguy007 ( 179016 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @02:18PM (#3823360)
    I thought the US Government was starting to learn that Microsoft software was to be avoided. By finding more uses for it, I am afraid that it is obviously not true.
    • Yes, they are using MS software, but this once they are using it to export things into a well documented, open format that could be made to work with anything (unlike a Word document). Sure, maybe different browsers aren't good at reading the XML the government is putting it out in the way that makes IE most comfortable, but at least it is in a DOCUMENTED format this time, one that the open source community can respond to and implement fairly quickly if there's incentive to (and I think having all major US government stuff in that format would be a big enough incentive.)

      Is it still biased in favor of IE users right now? Absolutely, I won't deny that. But if it is actually a properly documented format for once then that bias won't last. This isn't a perfect situation, but it's a major step up from publishing things in proprietary binary word processor formats like they did in the past.
  • by ClarkEvans ( 102211 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @02:19PM (#3823364) Homepage
    Dig the notice at xml.house.gov -- The document type definitions (DTDs) presented on this site were developed at the U.S. House of Representatives by employees of the Federal Government in the course of their official duties. Pursuant to Title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code, these DTDs are not subject to copyright protection and are in the public domain. These DTDs are in draft form. The U.S. House of Representatives assumes no responsibility whatsoever for their use by other parties, and makes no guarantees, expressed or implied, about their quality, reliability, or any other characteristic. These DTDs can be redistributed and/or modified freely provided that any derivative works bear some notice that they are derived from it, and any modified versions bear some notice that they have been modified. (emphasis mine)

    Either these DTDs are copyrighted and they can place restrictions upon distribution or they arn't. This need people have to control everything is just driving me crazy. The whole reason for Title 17 Section 105 is so that the Government can't put restrictions on this kind of stuff (bills, laws, etc.) ...
  • .... that the president can use an XSLT to make a bill into law?
  • by CProgrammer98 ( 240351 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @02:38PM (#3823430) Homepage
    "And it looks like the DTDs will be free to use and distribute"

    Ummmmm if you're using a validating xml parser, you HAVE to have access to the dtd!!! All DTDs have to be free to use!

  • Happy 4th! (Score:1, Offtopic)

    To recognize our great country on its birthday, I present you with an XML representation of the American flag:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1" >
    -<Flags>
    -<Flag type="American">
    <symbol type="Stars">
    <count>50</count>
    <background>navy</background>
    <color>white</color>
    </symbol>
    <symbol type="Stripes">
    <stripeno=1>
    <stripeval>Deleware</stripeval>
    <color>red</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=2>
    <stripeval>Pennsylvania</stripeval>
    <color>white</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=3>
    <stripeval>New Jersey</stripeval>
    <color>red</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=4>4</stripeno>
    <stripeval>Georgia</stripeval>
    <color>white</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=5>
    <stripeval>Connecticut</stripeval>
    <color>red</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=6>
    <stripeval>Massachusetts</stripeval>
    <color>white</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=7>
    <stripeval>Maryland</stripeval>
    <color>red</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=8>
    <stripeval>South Carolina</stripeval>
    <color>white</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=9>
    <stripeval>New Hampshire</stripeval>
    <color>red</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=10>
    <stripeval>Virginia</stripeval>
    <color>white</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=11>
    <stripeval>New York</stripeval>
    <color>red</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=12>
    <stripeval>North Carolina</stripeval>
    <color>white</color>
    </stripeno>
    <stripeno=13>
    <stripeval>Rhode Island</stripeval>
    <color>red</color>
    </stripeno>
    </symbol>
    </flag>
    </flags>

    Note: I'm from New Mexico, so I know what it feels like when a state gets left out. Rest assurred, my flag includes Deleware!

  • by Ilan Volow ( 539597 ) on Thursday July 04, 2002 @04:45PM (#3823919) Homepage
    Congress has always been full of lyahs and chetahs. That it's now full of schemas is really no surpise.
  • And it looks like the DTDs will be free to use and distribute!

    No, this doesn't mean you can make your own laws. =P

  • They're already using vb-script in their xsl stylesheet, I can see Microsoft trying to weasel their way in here (or some Microsoft-based consulting company). We need to get some open source software that can be of use to them, and hopefully to state governments as well. Anyone game?
  • ...by making resolutions in CommonLISP S-expressions.

  • Didn't any of the XML supporters every study parsing in their CS classes? Or are they just web control freaks that didn't bother with anything past highschool. Oh wait, I'm talking about w3c so of course they are contorl freaks. At least most people ingored them.

    The problem with XML is that it diverges into two dinstict worst cases. One requires and infinite amount of memory, the other and infinite amount of time. Both of these are bad things and much study of algorithms is about avoiding both of these conditions. Odd thing is most people in the IT field today have no clue about why this happens or even that it can happen. Of course these are the same programmers that coudn't describe a quicksort if they had to or descibe something in BNF grammar. And we wonder why most programmers today just produce garbage.
    • Can you elaborate? I can't see what part of parsing XML you are referring to - parsing XML for the most part seems relatively simple, though I haven't written a complete XML parser or spent the time to read through the complete specification.

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