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Re: [xml-dev] What are the practical, negative consequences ofthinking that attributes are metadata?

On 15 February 2017 at 15:24, Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org> wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> Consider this XML:
> <Book binding="hardcover">
>     <Title>Software Abstractions</Title>
>     <Author>Daniel Jackson</Author>
> </Book>
> I often hear people say that attributes are metadata. For example, @binding is metadata.
> David Carlisle likes to remind me that there is nothing in the XML specification which says that attributes are metadata. In fact, the XML specification does not even use the word "metadata."
> So when I hear people talking about attributes being metadata, I channel David Carlisle and tell them that attributes are not metadata.
> But I'm thinking this is a lost cause. The belief that attributes are metadata is too widespread.
> Besides, what difference does it make if people think that attributes are metadata? Can you give me a concrete, practical example showing where bad things happen because someone thought that attributes are metadata?
> /Roger
> _______________________________________________________________________

I guess I am supposed to answer:-)

The question can't be answered unless you define what metadata is
which has no answer in general. One person's metadata is another
person's data, it just depends on your current view of the data.

But  in this complete xml document

<x name="david"/>

what is the data and what is the metadata?,

and if the markup were


would the answer be different, and if so why?


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