One problem with standards based on text or formalisms only, is that it is very difficult to test them. RDF’s original home-made grammar for example. By contrast well-formedness, validity, Schematron, test suites: all of these are directly testable and provide a bedrock for XML development: the standard-provider needs provides the other side of the coin to “trust but also verify”: be trustworthy but also verifiable.
President Bush said Second, the Supreme Court’s recent decision has impaired our ability to prosecute terrorists through military commissions, and has put in question the future of the CIA program. In its ruling on military commissions, the Court determined that a provision of the Geneva Conventions known as “Common Article Three” applies to our war with al Qaeda. This article includes provisions that prohibit “outrages upon personal dignity” and “humiliating and degrading treatment.” The problem is that these and other provisions of Common Article Three are vague and undefined, and each could be interpreted in different ways by American or foreign judges. And some believe our military and intelligence personnel involved in capturing and questioning terrorists could now be at risk of prosecution under the War Crimes Act — simply for doing their jobs in a thorough and professional way.
Well, what are these other provisions of Article III? The big one in Article III is
(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; and Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely.
What is “vague and undefined” about murder, mutilation, cruel treatment or torture? And, sickeningly, what is vague and undefined about President Bush’s meaning of “thorough and professional”? Or is it a case that the Geneva Conventions need to list examples of torture and cruel treatment in order to be unambiguous: perhaps a Primer like XML Schemas Structures Part 0? The XML Schemas specification is notoriously difficult to understand and complex to implement. Article III of the Geneva Convention must be, also. Read it on the link above and make up your own mind. Its unspeakably tragic.