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   RE: [xml-dev] XML ... simple building blocks, simple assembly mechanisms

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From: Roger L. Costello [mailto:costello@mitre.org]

>Is an attribute a "building block"?  Or, is an attribute "in-lined
>on a tag - analogous to scribbling a note on a Lego building block to
>describe its content?   

In the eye of the beholder.  An attribute can convey content as many a 
relational db output shows.  It's a cheap way to model tables.  In theory, 
a name and a content node are all you need

nameofcontainer value value value value

and now it is up to the application to interpret that, or even just 

value value value value

for a very hardwired system.

>> Also, in practice, building up complex systems requires namespaces

>Is a namespace a "building block"?  Or, is a namespace simply more metadata
>on a tag - analogous to coloring a Lego building block to distinguish it
>from others?

It is more metadata but it isn't simple.  Consider the combination of the 
xmlns att and the behavior tag in CSS required to support attached behaviors

for namespace support in IE.   I think the answer to your questions relies 
on the application framework viewpoint.  XML in and of itself can be as 
simple as you suggest (and even simpler) because in and of itself, it
do anything but mark data.  A complex system can be described in nothing but

ones and zeros as long as a compiler/interpreter etc are there to give it 
meaning.  You are on the boundary of the definition of 'system' where 
meaninfulness is determined selector by selector and all of these may 
not be part of the same system (is the human reading this sentence part 
of the web?).



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