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RE: Attributes v Elements


This page has links to various discussions on the subject of when to use
elements and when to use attributes.

I personally like to use attributes when the implied constraints of
attributes apply. For example, if I have a non-repeating property whose
value can only be simple text, then I like to use attributes, so that these
constraints are immediately apparent in the instance. When dealing with
document-oriented applications, of course, the distinction between
attributes and elements is important for other reasons.

Evan Lenz
XYZFind Corp.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Conder, Tom D (N-MAXIM Group) [mailto:tom.d.conder@lmco.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2001 9:34 AM
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: Attributes v Elements
> Is there a good reference on the Web offering advice about various design
> decisions I have to make while developing a DTD (or XMLSchema)?
> For example, it is not immediately obvious when to use attributes and when
> to make an element a complex type.
> Suppose we want to make an XML file whose structure supports
> currency. Which
> is better?
> 1) a simple type with an attribute
> 	<currency type="USDollar">
> 	   10
> 	</currency>
> 2) a complex type with no attribute
> 	<currency>
> 	   <type>USDollar</type>
> 	   <value>10</value>
> 	</currency>
> 3) a simple type with two attributes
> 	<currency type="USDollar" value="10"/>
> Is there a simple rule of thumb to apply to the use of attributes?
> Tom Conder - Contractor, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems
> 1035 Eastgate Drive
> O'Fallon IL 62269
> (618) 628-2051
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