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   Re: [SML] Re: SML ?!?

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  • From: "James Tauber" <jtauber@jtauber.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999 11:46:25 -0500

> See http://www.xml.com/pub/1999/11/sml/index.html for an article
> the SML idea and the controversy surrounding it.

I noted with interest (and disagreement) the technical arguments against

If XML is used for representing tree structures or property/value pairs,
then, yes, attributes can give way to child elements.

But if XML is used for *markup*, attributes make sense and should not be
replaced by child elements.
(I have made this point whenever attribute vs element discussions have

Why? Because in *markup* there is a distinction between content and markup.
The character data content of an element is content. The value of an
attribute is markup. Attributes, like other markup, provide information in
addition to the textual content.

For example, a person thinking how to express the fact that Max is a dog
that is black might use:


However, a person wanting to markup the text "Max" indicating that he is a
black dog couldn't do the above. They might, instead, use:

<dog colour="black">Max</dog>

So if XML is being used for marking up existing textual content, attributes
have a definite place.

James Tauber / jtauber@jtauber.com / www.jtauber.com
<pipe>Ceci n'est pas une pipe</pipe>

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  • References:
    • SML ?!?
      • From: Sophie MABILAT <Sophie.Mabilat@apitech.fr>
    • Re: SML ?!?
      • From: Miloslav Nic <nicmila@vscht.cz>
    • [SML] Re: SML ?!?
      • From: "Michael Champion" <mike.champion@softwareag-usa.com>


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