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 ofthinking that attributes are metadata?

I don't think "metadata" is an important concept related to attributes.

What is important is:

Attributes are appropriate for representing a set of name-value pairs,
where all names are distinct and the order of appearing on the
name-value pairs is not important.

Whenever these conditions hold, making a decision *not* to represent
the set of name-value pairs as attributes has at least two bad

  1. Confusing and thus messing up with readability (we need to
express an additional restriction that all these elements must appear
exactly once -- another additional rule to express is that these
elements can appear in any order. If we used attributes, no such rules
need be added at all.

  2. Possible performance degradation: elements are much more complex
and occupy more memory than attributes.


On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 7:24 AM, 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
> _______________________________________________________________________
> XML-DEV is a publicly archived, unmoderated list hosted by OASIS
> to support XML implementation and development. To minimize
> spam in the archives, you must subscribe before posting.
> [Un]Subscribe/change address: http://www.oasis-open.org/mlmanage/
> Or unsubscribe: xml-dev-unsubscribe@lists.xml.org
> subscribe: xml-dev-subscribe@lists.xml.org
> List archive: http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/
> List Guidelines: http://www.oasis-open.org/maillists/guidelines.php

Dimitre Novatchev
Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence.
To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk
Never fight an inanimate object
To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the
biggest mistake of all
Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.
You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what
you're doing is work or play
To achieve the impossible dream, try going to sleep.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Typing monkeys will write all Shakespeare's works in 200yrs.Will they
write all patents, too? :)
Sanity is madness put to good use.
I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it.

[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