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   Re: [xml-dev] Attribute Order

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>   On the other hand, I'll suggest that tools which need to modify XML
> documents (XML editors) will often want to make the smallest possible
> change to a document so humans won't be surprised when unrelated parts
> of the document change in what is essentially a superficial way.  A

I'll support that. If you are writing an app from scratch and you have a
choice, try to maintain attribute order "as a courtesy" to people who have
to read/write XML manually.

Of course there is no requirement to do so.. but everytime my <forall
var="x" in="/foo"> comes back from cocoon as <forall in="/foo" var="x">
because Xerces' dom serializer thinks it has to sort attributes
alphabetically (why?) I lose another 5 years of my life. (and you can
probably see how messed up the syntax would be if I made those subelements
instead of attributes).

You can compare this to laying out UML diagrams. If you lay out your classes
left to right, and then some diagram layout algorithm renders them top to
bottom, you will probably lose your understanding of the diagram. Of course
to the metamodel it doesn't make a difference, but beware the lingering
hidden semantics :)

Christian Nentwich


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