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   Re: [SML] Re: SML ?!?

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  • From: "Liam R. E. Quin" <liamquin@interlog.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999 23:46:39 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 26 Nov 1999, James Tauber wrote:
> Why? Because in *markup* there is a distinction between content and markup.

That I agere with.

> The character data content of an element is content. The value of an
> attribute is markup.

> Attributes, like other markup, provide information in
That is subjective, and I don't agree.
Nowhere is it stated in the XML spec that this must be so.

It is a useful convention that some people choose to follow.  One reason
I often advise people to follow it is that attribuets are syntactically
impoverished in XML, as in SGML, and can't contain sub-elements.  As
a result,
    <document title="pictuers ofmy dog"> ... </document>
sort of works, but
    <document title="e = m c <sup>2</sup"> .. </document>
fails miserably (is not even well-formed XML, and certainly does not
"mean" what one might hope).

The Text Encoding Initiative P3 Guidelines provide other ways of
representing the difference between a reviewer's comments and original
content, and also of representng uncertainty in the reading of a text
that one is transcribing.

Restricting editorial comment to attributes seems to me to give it
some pretty severe limits.  What if you want to add a footnote with
a cross reference?

I agree that attributes can be useful, and that there are several
sets of conventions when make a distinction between "content" and
"markup" in some way that may consider attributes to be part of

However, let's not make the mistake of saying that that's the only
way to use XML.

For my own part, I'd be giernally be willing to accept this:
(just as an example, not intended as a specific proposal) which retains
the distinction ebtween attributes and content, but does not need the
extra syntactic form.  But I'm happy with attributes too.

I think attribtues actually fall into the category of things that if
the average writer of an HTML browser can understand, they must be
pertty simple :-) :-) :-)

Liam Quin, Barefoot Computing, Toronto;  The barefoot agitator
l i a m q u i n     at    i n t e r l o g    dot   c o m
Ankh on irc.sorcery.net, http://www.valinor.sorcery.net/~liam/

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