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   Re: [xml-dev] Attribute Order (Was: Create XML )

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In a message dated 22/06/2003 22:20:58 GMT Daylight Time, simonstl@simonstl.com writes:

elharo@metalab.unc.edu (Elliotte Rusty Harold) writes:
>What contexts? How would having attribute order preserved help you?
>Even in the context of an XML editor I can't say that preserving
>attribute order is all that important. People get upset when editors
>screw with their entities. I don't remember anyone getting too peeved
>because an editor shuffled their attributes.

I remember a lot of HTML developers who have been thoroughly aggravated
by tools which have a habit of screwing up attribute order.  Developers
who are used to grouping attributes by function, or who used whitespace
inside of tags to improve readability, might send something to a
non-developer, who'd make "improvements" with an HTML editor, and the
resulting botch was less than pleasant.  (Alphabetized attribute names
still come up once in a while as an odd result of processing.)

Early editors (and some current ones still) tended to mash the entire
structure into their notion of what HTML should look like, but better
editors at least preserved element structure.  Attribute order may seem
like a minor part of this, but it matters a lot more as the number of
attributes increases.

The use of 'identity transforms' in XSLT is a problem for just this
reason for these kinds of developers, as attribute order isn't counted
as part of the document identity.

I have experienced similar problems when hand coding / transforming SVG.

In the source document I have attributes which are ordered to make it easier for me as a hand coder. After transformation they may or may not be in the same order which is a nuisance.

Not life or death, I admit. But a minor nuisance.

Canonicalisation is a situation where non-preservation of attribute order is a bigger issue, I think. Again, it has been worked around.

Andrew Watt


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