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   Re: [xml-dev] Order of attributes

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In article <Pine.GSO.4.58.0505061400090.1379@red.seas.upenn.edu> you write:

>Attributes, as elements, _are_ ordered in the
>document, so wouldn't it be more appropriate to require a parser to report
>them in order and let the application to impose an unordered semantics, if
>it wishes?

No, because that's not what attributes are for.  The attributes of an
element are uniquely identified by their names, and the children are
not.  The semantics of an attribute depends on its name, not its
position within the start tag.

You can write down a matrix of the properties of attributes and child
elements: whether they are named, whether their order is significant,
whether they have recursive structure (it helps to have several dimensions
to write in :-).  The three I listed give you 8 possible combinations;
XML (and SGML) only provide two of them, but they are two that cover
a lot of useful cases.

>More practically, if a parser guarantees reporting attributes to the
>application in their order of occurrence in a document, would this be a
>reason to declare the parser incompliant with XML 1.0?

No, of course not.  An XML editor is the obvious example of an
application that can benefit from that information.  But an XML editor
does not use an XML document for its semantics.

-- Richard


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