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RE: minor naming point (why full names are important for archivin g)

From: Ed Simon <ed.simon@entrust.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 20:07:38 -0400
Message-ID: <01E1D01C12D7D211AFC70090273D20B105E75F@sothmxs06.entrust.com>
To: "''IETF/W3C XML-DSig WG ' '" <w3c-ietf-xmldsig@w3.org>
Element and attribute names should be lowercase, complete
English words, where each word is separated by a hyphen.  
(I think this is the preferred W3C way.)  So for example, 
<sigblock> should really be <signature-block>.

The importance of making names as legible as possible was 
brought home to me by some presentations I saw on those 
who archive documents.  Included among the great, grand 
features of XML are that ideally it is both machine-readable 
and human-readable, and that it minimizes the problem of 
effectively losing data just because the technology to 
read that data has become lost.  Unlike me and others 
who love the "let's change everything every five years" 
world of high-tech, archivists are all too familiar 
with the experience of having billions of bits that 
cannot be comprehended because the technology to read 
them has been lost.  I heard one fellow representing 
the US Patents and Trademarks Office say that his 
documents needed to last the lifetime of the Republic 
and that as long as English was understood, the Office's 
electronic patent information archives could be understood
because it was encoded in XML.

Digital signatures are invaluable for securing archives; 
frankly, archiving is one of their most important uses.
I expect archivists would strongly prefer we use full
names rather than ones meaningful only to those of us
involved in standards work.

Ed
Received on Thursday, 16 September 1999 20:07:53 GMT

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