OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]
Re: [xml-dev] What are the practical, negative consequences of thinking that attributes are metadata?

In its historical origins, textual content is what the human reader gets to see and attributes are instructions to the compositor. "Document-oriented" XML designs continue to use this convention, and it does no harm. It's nice to know, for example, that string() applied to a mixed content element will give you meaningful text.

But that's only a convention. It's fairly meaningless for "data" as distinct from "documents". It's a useful convention, but attributes are metadata only if the document designer chose to follow this convention.

Michael Kay

> 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?

I had one this morning where I wanted a document to contain a summary of error messages extracted from various specs, and knowing that you can do string(xx) to get the message text, ignoring all the markup, is very handy.

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]

News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1993-2007 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS