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In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> you write:
>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,
So what? All languages - human languages, programming languages,
markup languages - have features that are not semantically significant,
but are preserved by editors for readability. Objecting to XML editors
that change attribute order is like objecting to C code editors that
change the indentation: perfectly reasonable, but nothing to do with
whether it's significant in the language.
>The point here is that a *syntax* defines nothing more than the grammar
>of a data format...
And XML is not *just* a syntax in that sense. Some aspects of its
semantics are made explicit in the XML spec, some are omitted, and
some are left to the implementation.
>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're right that it's not the grammar of XML, but XML is not
just the grammar.
>> 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.
People for whom whitespace between attributes is significant *in
the application* are not using an XML application.