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   RE: [xml-dev] Attribute Usage

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It's a pretty subjective concept, and there is no hard and fast rule of law.
Generally speaking:

1.	Attributes are metadata (information about information) and usually
represent properties of information.  They can't contain mixed content or
child elements, and don't define structure in the document.

2.	Elements are data and represent components of information.  They can
contain mixed content and child elements. Elements provide both content
definition and structure to the document. 

An ID would be a good example of an attribute.  It does not define content
or structure, but does provide a unique identifier for an element that does.

Douglas Rudder
XML Analyst
WoltersKluwer Health - Clinical Tools
77 West Port Plaza, Suite 450
Phone:  314-216-2227
e-mail:  drudder@drugfacts.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Farid.Mahini@L-3com.com [mailto:Farid.Mahini@L-3com.com] 
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 3:01 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: [xml-dev] Attribute Usage


What is the purpose of element attribute?  And is there a usage
rule-of-thumb for element attribute (attribute vs. child element) ? 

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