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   Re: [xml-dev] Principles of XML design

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On May 6, 2005, at 1:03 PM, Richard Tobin wrote:
> I disagree.  To invent a document format in which the order of
> attributes is significant and then claim that it conforms to XML would
> be misleading to say the least, since it would not be interoperable 
> with
> the majority of XML tools (which don't preserve attribute order).

In think you cannot see the API for the syntax.

I have, in fact, had the requirement for maintaining attribute order in 
XML laid upon me more than once by people writing things like editors, 
or people interacting with an XML database. Preserving whitespace is 
almost a religious issue for many people, and falls into the same class 
of problem. People have got *quite* upset when the documents get 
"munged", even though the documents would parse exactly the same way 
using SAX.

The point here is that a *syntax* defines nothing more than the grammar 
of a data format... the structure of a stream of bits. The 
*processor/parser* of that stream of bits defines what is significant 
or not. That the vast majority of XML tools works one way vs. another 
is largely due to a shared understanding of processing model in the 
community (which should be documented), not the grammar of XML.

> You can of course construct even more egregious examples, such as a
> format in which data is encoded by the number of spaces between
> attributes.  That isn't XML.

For some people it is. For some people, all whitespace is 
significant... but again, that depends on the application aka. 
processing model.


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