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   Re: [xml-dev] malfunctioning, evil adult as XML

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From: "James Clark" <jjc@jclark.com>
> It seems age has not mellowed Erik.  However, hidden amongst all the abuse
> think there is food for thought.
> > Remove the syntactic mess that is attributes.
> > (You will then find that you do not need them at all.)
> I think Erik's right that attributes in XML are a mess.  Either
> - they ought to have be able to structured values, just like elements
> one could view the content of an element as a special unnamed attribute),
> - they should be removed entirely.

Understandable.  In an XML alternative I created, that was one of the first
things to go.

> Then there's
> - the whole mess of attribute value normalization
> - the whole mess with namespace declarations that look like attributes but
> aren't really attributes (which apart from confusion implies the parser
> to see the whole start-tag before it can report the element name or any
> qualified attribute names)
> The non-uniformity between elements and attributes has a huge cost.  It
> doesn't just add extra complexity to parsers, but it adds complexity to
> almost everything built on top of XML (XSLT, schema, DOM, ...).

True again.

> Whether there's any hope of ever fixing this is a separate issue.

Nope.  Not inside of XML, anyhow.

Seairth Jacobs


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