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RE: Attributes v Elements

> From: John Cowan [mailto:jcowan@reutershealth.com]
> Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2001 7:51 AM
> Eric van der Vlist wrote:
> > Mixed content is a great asset for some applications (it's hard to
> > imagine XHTML without mixed content).
> Formally speaking, mixed content can always be removed by wrapping
> the #PCDATA into a "span" element.  The result is verbose, but
> will work as both HTML and XML:
> <p><span>This is no longer </span><i>mixed</i><span> 
> content</span></p>
> Similar tricks can be placed with any document type permitted
> mixed content.

Actually its not just verbose, its simply wrong... although perhaps not in
the xHTML example you provide. 

Lets say I an schema that represents a symantically markedup document. That
is, we have something like:

<p> I like to listen to the <org id="CBC">Canadian Broadcast
Corporation</org>. But I then again, I live in <loc id="can">Canada</loc>.

Now this is a very meaningful paragraph. There is nothing in there that
isn't information (you could argue that the symantic tags I use are bad but
I don't design a lot of symantic schemas... yet). However, if we were to do
the markup as you suggest, I would need:

<p><span>I like to listen to the</span><org id="CBC">Canadian Broadcast
Corporation</org><span>. But I then again, I live in <span><loc

All of a sudden, the signal to noise ratio has gone up by an order of
magnitude. The idea of something that is a span has no meaning in a
document. It further suggests that the content of the span is something
different from the content of the symantic tags. This is patently not true. 

The statement that there should be no mixed content elements is faulty, when
you are refering to something that represents (for lack of a better work)
discourse. If its something I say, or I read, then mixed content models are
very appropriate.