W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > August 2002

Re: xml.com piece on XML Schema datatypes (no rationals :-{)

From: Graham Klyne <Graham.Klyne@MIMEsweeper.com>
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 11:08:34 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>, w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org

At 05:51 PM 8/1/02 -0500, Dan Connolly wrote:
>On Thu, 2002-08-01 at 16:29, Graham Klyne wrote:
> > My own particular pet peeve with XML schema datatypes is the lack of a
> > rational number primitive (my comment was submitted to, considered and
> > rejected by XML schema WG).
>Sorry about that; I agree, but I didn't have the energy to fight harder.
>I did put the HTTP-NG type system on the table, which had a nice
>design for rationals (hm... reviewing, it seems to be fixed-point,
>not rationals... anyway...). Sigh.

Well, I share similar blame ... I had an opportunity to register dissent 
but failed to do so.

> >  To my view, this should be the concept from
> > which all other numeric data types are derived, by restriction.  (All
> > schemes for representing numbers in a computer that I'm aware of represent
> > rational numbers only.)
>Well, floating point numbers are not restrictions of rationals.
>Floating point multiplication and addition are not, strictly
>speaking, associative.

Good point.  I was only considering representation and comparison.

I still think that rationals would be a good basis for integers and fixed 
and some other numeric values...

>Aha! there it is:
>                 Floating-point datatypes are not real datatypes
>                         Mark Reinhold <mr@eng.sun.com>
>                                 5 October 1999

... but I agree there's a compelling case to treat float and double separately.

(An alternative might have been to have only integers, and compose 
rationals, -- this is roughly what XML schema WG said to me -- but it's not 
clear to me how one would have a standard definition of comparison -- which 
question the WG did not answer.)

Anyway, I guess that's all water under the bridge, and we have to get on 
with life?


Graham Klyne
Received on Friday, 2 August 2002 07:44:30 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 20:24:14 UTC