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Re: [xml-dev] Do attributes have scope? Are attributes metadata?


On 2012 Feb 29, at 13:21, David Carlisle wrote:

>> <altitude units="feet">12000</altitude>
>> (3) Is it correct to say, "The units attribute provides metadata
>> about the altitude element's value" or, more casually, "The attitude
>> is 12000 feet"
> that I would say is a classic instance where it is _not_ metadata.
> the units are as much a part of the value as the numerical part.

But even that's disputable (and I say this as someone who necessarily docks marks from students who omit units).  Say we found this passage in the tagged-up memoirs of some airman:

    The altimeter was reading <altitude units='feet'>1200</altitude> when the Red Baron appeared out of the sun...

There, the fact that the original MS read "1200" is data, and the fact that this was feet, and indeed that it was an altitude (rather than an eccentrically wired cockpit clock), is a piece of interpretation by the tagger, and therefore (!) metadata.

I say this only to wonder whether there is _anything_ that is indisputably metadata or data.

All the best,


Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK

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