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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • The snippet you displayed completely defeats the purpose and intent of XML by adopting obfuscated type attributes.

    What about type="01" denotes the concept of "author"? Why is type="01" an author on a contributor field, but "primary title" on a title field?

    This is a classic error made time and time again since the dawn of punch cards: space is important, so let's condense the amount of space a record takes up by replacing textual values with an encoded equivalent. This problem was first brought to my attention in school about 10 years ago, by a professor who was working with RAdm. Hopper when they was working on the first "business computers". The lesson my prof. learned from decades of blundering was "never resort to a codebook or a code lookup table, because it will invariably get lost when you need it most".

    Now, I'm not saying this to criticize your format for marking up bibliographic data. I'm just pointing out that one of the design goals for XML was to create self-labeled data (e.g. avoid CSV and other ad-hoc formats, where there is no indication that the first column is actually the ISBN, the second column is the primary author and the third column is the primary title). And resorting to techniques like reusing 'type="01"' in multiple locations in a document is a significant step backwards.

    Hope this helps. :-)