RE: [SML] Whether to support Attribute or not?
[Sean McGrath] >> Turn it around for a moment. Think of it this way: >> 1) elements are elements >> 2) attribute values are kinda-sort elements except that they >> are constrained in various ways. > >Beggin the question. 2 points deducted. ;) > >> Simplification: >> 1) Make all attributes elements >> >> Expressive power lost = 0 >> > [Greg Reynolds] >Hm. By my calculation, ExPow lossage = 50%. I had a syntactic means of >expressing two different notions; now everything is one stew of elements. >I've lost the syntactic analog of what goes on in my itty bitty grey cell. > Its down to the percieved fundamental different in types of information. I don't believe it is real. Others do. I understand what Clark Evans means about the importance of context in framing the element/attribute "distinction" and I think you are coming from a similar angle. But hey, contexts change with each script I write to process XML right? For example:- <dog type = "Alsatian"> <p>This one is a real puppy.</p> </dog> Lets say I want to sort dogs by breed. The above XML suits my purpose well. If my authors think primarily in terms of dog types, perhaps this suits them too. Lets say I want to harvest descriptions of dogs. For authoring and script writing purposes I would prefer this: <dog desc = "This one is a real puppy" type = "Alsation"/> So the ideal element/attribute carve-up of information depends on the processing task. If the distinction is so ephemeral that it changes with each of an infinity of different possible processing tasks then is it really there at all? Attributes are a convenience - not an epistomological requirement. >Most of the debate seems centered on what might make life easier for >software. If that's the criterion, then no-atts wins by a mile. But if the >criterion is making life easier for the writer/reader/designer of texts >(i.e. xml docs), then attributes are definitely in. > Woa! Firstly, I am focused 100% on easy software in SML-Land. At this level of an information architecture I don't give a flying fig-roll about writers/readers/designers! If us software types are worthy of the air we breath, they will never see this stuff! SML (IMO) is unashamedly about making things drop-dead easy for *software*. All the user convenience stuff gets layered on top. Secondly, I have *never* come across a writer who likes attributes:-) I have just finished a book on XML processing with Python that I wrote in XML using a combination of Emacs and Wordperfect/XML. Total attribute count = 0. Am I a freak? regards, <Sean uri="http://www.digitome.com/sean.html"> Developers Day co-Chair WWW9, April 2000, Amsterdam <uri>http://www.www9.org</uri> </Sean> xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1 To unsubscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; unsubscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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