RE: (dsssl) Attributes to Elements

Subject: RE: (dsssl) Attributes to Elements
From: "Mason, James David (MXM) " <mxm@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 09:55:52 -0400
What gets represented as element data and what gets represented as attribute
data has been a subject of philosophical discussion since the earliest days
of SGML development, now about two decades ago. In many cases, it's a matter
of personal taste, since just about anything except a very long text string
(or something with included element markup, of course) can be put in an
attribute. One reason for putting things in attributes is that (before XML
Schema) attributes were the only things in SGML subject to any sort of
datatype checking at all. 

In some SGML/XML applications involving metadata (e.g., RDF and Topic Maps),
almost all content is carried in attributes rather than as element data.

(And the old-timers recognize that element data is a specialization of
attribute data, where the GI is the attribute name and the element content
is the attribute value. We simply invented a special notation called start
tags and end tags rather than using an equals sign and quote marks.)

Jim Mason

James David Mason, Ph.D.

Y-12 National Security Complex
Bldg. 9113, M.S. 8208
P.O. Box 2009
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-8208

+1 865 574 6973

Chairman, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34

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