Here are excerpts:
I find I’m often talking about an information model and XML as if they’re the same thing. However, there is no reason to tie these two things together as one. Instead, we should look at the information model in terms of the information it represents and let the manner in which we express that information be a separate concern. In the last few weeks I have found myself discussing alternative forms of representing legislative information with three people – chatting with Eric Mill at the Sunlight Foundation about HTML microformats (look for a blog from him on this topic soon), Daniel Bennett regarding microdata, and Ari Hershowitz regarding JSON.
I thought I would try and open up a discussion on this topic by shedding some light on it. If we can strip away the discussion of the information model and instead focus on the representation, perhaps we can agree on which formats are better for which applications. Is a format a good storage format, a good transport format, a good analysis/programming format, or a good all-around format? [...]
Several examples are given. Then, Grant writes:
[...] There are many different ways of representing the same legislative model – each with its own strength and weaknesses. Different consumers have different needs. While XML is a good all-around format, it also brings with it some degree of sophistication and complexity that many information consumers simply don’t need to tackle. It should be possible, as a consumer, to specify the form of the information that most closely fits my need and have the legislative data source deliver it to me in that format. [...]
What do you think?
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