The Napkin Representation
seaman at noao.edu
Tue Jul 3 11:06:25 PDT 2007
On Jul 3, 2007, at 7:53 AM, Roy Williams wrote:
> It is the names of quantities and what they mean, that is the
> important part. Think of translating base 2 numbers to base 10, it
> is easy to do, it is just representation.
While I strongly support the notion of multiple formats/
representations/serializations of a single underlying data model, the
word "just" doesn't belong here.
I'll trot out UTC again and point out that leap seconds are just a
question of representation, but one that has generated a lot of
misunderstandings. Even in Roy's easy example, there are lots of
subtleties inherent in handling binary coded decimal (BCD), for
In the case of VOEvent, one thinks of the early days of FITS. The
goal is a simple to author and simple to interpret format that any
astronomer or programmer can reasonably expect to adapt to their
project's purposes. Most of the VOEvent learning curve (and our
"customer" patience) has been invested in the choice of XML itself.
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