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Re: [xml-dev] Best Practice: Element with data or element with child element?

> which approach is better, an image element that contains the location of a GIF file:
>    <image>images/mighty_oj.gif</image>
> Or, an image element that contains a child element, which contains the location of the GIF file:
>     <image>
>         <src>images/mighty_oj.gif</src>
>     </image>

At that level of generality, without knowing anything about the rest of
the document these approaches are identical (just rename image to foo and
src to image  in the second example). So it's impossible to make any

> Likewise, which is better, a retailer
Clearly that's just the same example with different element names.

> Using the second approach all this information can be provided in the
> XML document: 

It can be provided somewhere in either solution.

> The XSLT is not hardcoded to add a specific set of attributes;

Of course it is! It has the hardcoded assumption that someone has gone
to the trouble of designing an xml format with exactly the same
attribute names as html but using elements rather than xml attributes. 
I suppose it's possible someone has done that but unlikely.

Far more likely is they just use the same attributes in which case you
can just use <xsl:copy-of select="@*"/> or that the element names are
different to the html attribute names in which case you need to encode
a translation table in your conversion and "hardwire" specific names in
the source and result document.

In any case any features you can do with the second form you can clearly
do with the equivalent 1st form, it just depends where the additional
metadata is placed


for example.


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