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How do most people feel about imposing a sibling element order
significance? Consider the following:
In truth, the order of the elements under Person does not impact the
semantic of a Person. A Person is complete if all items exist and we do
not need to know the Name before the Occupation and so on. The child
elements make up a set that does not require order but may require
However, it seems harder to write parsers that process elements in a
random ordering. So often, an arbitrary order is imposed (presumably) to
make parsing easier.
Being relatively new to XML, I am curious as to what the current thought
is on this? Do most people impose an ordering or do they write their
parser code to handle any order the elements may appear in.
Of course, this isn't a big deal if my program is producing and
consuming the XML. However, if I am consuming a document that a user
produced, why should I force them to put FirstName, LastName, and
Occupation into a particular order? A Person is still a Person if they
appear as LastName, Occupation, and FirstName.
Thoughts for an XML newbie to chew on? Is there a best practice for
From: Mayne, Peter [mailto:PeterMayne@ap.spherion.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2003 4:44 PM
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Create XML
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Emmanuil Batsis (Manos) [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Friday, 13 June 2003 1:42 AM
> To: Mehmet AVSAR; firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Create XML
> You should use an XML API to create/manipulate XML documents
> instead of raw string manipulation.
Why? No, seriously.
For small/simple XML documents such as the OP's, I tend to use a for
loop and a few print statements (mod your favourite language) rather
than dragging in XML libraries and adding more complicated code.
An obvious argument for using an XML API is the guarantee (?) of correct
XML at the end. But for simple XML, it's not hard to do it with a string
and a loop (or a string template and a replace) and get the same result.
I'm certainly not advocating that using XML APIs to create documents is
stupid, but surely there's a crossover point where the simplicity of the
result doesn't justify the added complexity of an XML API compared to
just building a string?
Or have I just committed heresy? :-)
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