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RE: attribute order (RE: Syntax Sugar and XML information models)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Simon St.Laurent [
> Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2001 9:49 AM
> To: Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: attribute order (RE: Syntax Sugar and XML information models)
> At 09:04 AM 3/29/01 -0500, Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com wrote:
> >As for the order of attributes, doesn't XML 1.0 specifically
> declare this to be insignificant?
> I've taken that on faith for a while, though I'm wondering
> more and more
> about how wise that decision really was.  It's not in Tim Bray's
> annotations - it only explicitly appears in the second edition:
http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml#sec-starttags  (para after prod 41)

Thanks for looking this up!  But, uhhh,  "Note that the order of attribute specifications in a start-tag or empty-element tag is not significant" is pretty explicit.  I think the InfoSet has gone a bit far in implying the insignificance of various things that databases and editors need to preserve, but I wouldn't want to have anything to do with an effort to imply significance to things that XML 1.0 defines as NOT significant. 

I just remembered one other thing that the InfoSet doesn't model that has generated some discussion about round-trippability --- the two legal XML syntaxes for empty elements.  Does anyone care about round-tripping the specific syntax used in some instance, e.g. <empty></empty> vs <empty/> ?  There was some discussion on SML-DEV once about using it to encode the distinction between an element with the value [empty string] vs an element with the value "null"  ... but the fact that the distinction wouldn't necessarily survive a round-trip with an InfoSet-compliant tool put that idea to rest.