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Re: What approaches do people use to create tag names and attr

  • From: Liam Quin <liam@w...>
  • To: "Costello, Roger L." <costello@m...>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 02:10:06 -0400

Re:  What approaches do people use to create tag names and attr
On Fri, Oct 12, 2007 at 03:56:19PM -0400, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
> I am putting together a list of approaches that people use to create
> tag names and attribute names.  I am interested in your input.

> Are there other approaches that people use to create tag names and
> attribute names?

I am fond of:

> 4. There exists a data requirements document; tag and attribute names
> are distilled from the requirements document. (I am not clear on how
> tag and attribute names can be systematically distilled from a
> requirements document; do you have insights on how to do this?) 

This probaby only works if you write a requirements document that
contains element and attribute names... which would be a little
unusual, I think.

The most important things about element names are

* don't in general rely on them being displayed to a user.
  They may need to be localised, and the localisation might itself
  need markup (e.g. ruby).

* they should convey a sense of what is represented, just like
  variable names in a program.  BookTitle is better than Field810
  in most cases, MARC notwithstanding :-) because it can be usefully
  interpreted by some of the people who work with it rather than
  none of them, even though it is not language-neutral.

* it can help to have a convention for element names that represent
  properties, e.g. using
  and another convention for multi-word names, e.g.
  You can then migrate systematically between elements and structures,
  e.g. from socks.colour to socks/colour.

* human-readable content belongs in element content, not in attribute
  values.  HTML (as augmented by Marc Andreeson et al.) got this wrong
  with the alt attribute, which should have been a child element of img.

<Indoth pasmel="cracleneayne">Liam</Indoth>

Liam Quin, W3C XML Activity Lead, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
http://www.holoweb.net/~liam/ * http://www.fromoldbooks.org/

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