Okay, now that I have the attention Glenn
Reynolds. Oh yes, and according Josh Claybourn - whomever Paul Musgrave
deigns the new "pundit’s
pundit". I’d like to point out an instance where our tax dollars are
being wisely spent on technology. It happens you know. Not often enough, but
it does happen, so here it is:
DTD’s? Didn’t they ban
the use of DTD back in 1972? No, but like DDT,
DTD’s can be used to squash bugs. A Document Type Definition (DTD) is a construct
of XML that defines what constitutes a valid data element
and/or the value it contains valid.
The DTD’s at xml.house.gov were/are used in the creation of
legislative documents using XML. This is a good thing, but even better, the
House of Reps being a Fed agency is compelled to put these goodies ‘out there’
for us geekazoids as per USC Title 17 Section 105.
I found these definitions intriguing at two levels. At the technical level,
it offers an example of how to digitally define the gory details behind a large
document-driven institution. The U.S. Congress, arguably being the US’ biggest
tree killer in the land. The second is on a political level, as one peruses
the individual elements for their descriptions. These rendering gory details on
how the World’s biggest bureaucracy defines its business – sans a definition
of what ‘is’ is.
But hold on there Archimedes, before you whip-off your close and run down the street giddy with the thought
that we’ve found an instance of good ‘Capitol’ spending. Keep in mind that another,
and perhaps equally powerful governing organization, the w3c.org, has declared DTD’s dated (or at least too
much a vestige of SGML), and
encourages instead the use of XSDs.
And after a week of XSD mangling via .NET, so do I. But more on that project
Still interested in how this all works?