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

Not an example of "bad things" happening, but rather an example where attribute content is clearly not metadata - Dave Winder's OPML markup. He uses it for his development and production systems for blogs and other programming. All the text is held in attributes, not as element content.

I wouldn't do it that way, but it works very well for him.


On 2/15/2017 10:24 AM, Costello, Roger L. 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

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


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