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Re: What are the practical, negative consequences of thinking

  • From: Michael Kay <mike@saxonica.com>
  • To: "Costello, Roger L." <costello@mitre.org>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:57:57 +0000

Re:  What are the practical
In its historical origins, textual content is what the human reader gets to see and attributes are instructions to the compositor. "Document-oriented" XML designs continue to use this convention, and it does no harm. It's nice to know, for example, that string() applied to a mixed content element will give you meaningful text.

But that's only a convention. It's fairly meaningless for "data" as distinct from "documents". It's a useful convention, but attributes are metadata only if the document designer chose to follow this convention.

Michael Kay

> 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?

I had one this morning where I wanted a document to contain a summary of error messages extracted from various specs, and knowing that you can do string(xx) to get the message text, ignoring all the markup, is very handy.

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