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Re: [xml-dev] IDs considered harmful or why keys might be better than IDs...

On Monday 12 November 2001 04:42 am, Eric van der Vlist wrote:
> On one hand, the concept of ID seems to be very useful and we obviously
> need unique IDs to avoid ambiguity.

My experience is that context is usually far more useful...

> RDBMs have been able to break through because in a sense, they've thrown
> IDs away... Or should I say, they've allowed (or imposed) to every query
> to specify the "IDs" to use in its where clause.
> To deal with the compexity and with the performance issues, RDBMS have
> invented indexes which are "out of band information" and XSLT has
> already dealt with this issue through keys:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xslt#key

Right. The reason why I dislike the idea of special casing ID's is because in 
practice, I've found them to be of little value. The fragment-id discussion 
is a sideline issue to the core point: that you don't *need* ID-ness in order 
to process a document. Document context and unique (within a scope) attribute 
values suffice.