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Re: What are the practical, negative consequences ofthinking t

  • From: Lauren Wood <lauren@textuality.com>
  • To: "xml-dev@lists.xml.org" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2017 07:52:16 -0800

Re:  What are the practical
There are lots of document models that put important information into
attributes. Healthcare is one such domain; CDA documents are full of
elements such as <birthTime value="19320924"/> with no other place to
put that information.

So I would dispute the original assertion that "The belief that
attributes are metadata is too widespread."


On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 7:46 AM, Rick Jelliffe <rjelliffe@allette.com.au> wrote:
> If you are thinking in database terms, it makes no sense. There is just two
> different syntaxes for fields.
> If you are thinking in document terms,  then it makes complete sense.  You
> are marking up text  that can exist independent of the tag or type: the text
> is the data content and the markup is the metadata: element tags and
> attribute tags and attribute values (and comments and PIs) are all metadata.
> The attributes are metadata about the element tag, and the element tag is
> metadata about the data content.
> Regards
> Rick
> On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 2:24 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
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