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   RE: [xml-dev] attributes vs. elements

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  • To: "Maciejewski, Thomas" <Thomas.Maciejewski@lehman.com>,"Xml-Dev (E-mail)" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: RE: [xml-dev] attributes vs. elements
  • From: "CHIUSANO, Joseph" <JCHIUSANO@lmi.org>
  • Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 13:30:12 -0400
  • Disposition-notification-to: "CHIUSANO, Joseph" <JCHIUSANO@lmi.org>
  • Thread-index: AcJY7rh8BY8TIwaMQ62q9M9dtpnRrAAAJYCg
  • Thread-topic: [xml-dev] attributes vs. elements


According to "best practices", attributes are used for metdata while elements are used for data.  Of course there are gray areasm but one could say that the "id" attribute you use below is indeed metadata (and attributes are often used that way).

Some "downsides" (whether they are really or not depends on the exact situation):

- Attributes cannot be extended as elements can.
- Attribute order is not enforced by XML processors, as is element order.

Hope that helps,
Joe Chiusano

> **************************************************************************
>   Joseph M. Chiusano
>   Logistics Management Institute
>   2000 Corporate Ridge
>   McLean, VA 22102
>   Email: jchiusano@lmi.org
>   Tel: 571.633.7722
> **************************************************************************

-----Original Message-----
From: Maciejewski, Thomas [mailto:Thomas.Maciejewski@lehman.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2002 1:22 PM
To: Xml-Dev (E-mail)
Subject: [xml-dev] attributes vs. elements

This is sort of a newbie question but one that I never fully understood or
maybe just don't know how to explain it to others. 

When should one use an element and when should one use an attribute?

And where are the gray areas?

like and ID I would think of as an attribute?  would anyone here do this as
an element?

<foo id="1234">
	<foostuff />

or would more of you do:
	<foostuff />

if ID is an attribute how about name?
I sometimes feel that I add too much information into attribute.

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