Item description data in XML (XML)

Leigh Dodds ldodds at INGENTA.COM
Tue Nov 30 17:54:36 CET 1999

>  > General question: Is there any reason why attributes exist at all?

Robin Cover covers some of the issues here:

This debate is also currently raging on the XML-DEV mailing list. There
are proponents for both sides of the debate, which can get
quite heated!

If you care to dip in you can look at the thread here:

There are strong arguments on either side - even the
'attributes are required for linking' viewpoint isn't firm,

<leaf shape="obovate" />


are semantically identical. It largely depends on which you
prefer, and how your schema is defined. The id/idref linking
mechanism only works within documents. Its unlikely that this
will apply in this context as links will be likely *between*
documents - and we'll therefore be using XPointers (which are
based on XPath).

Its up to the application to decide whether it looks for
a shape attribute or element.



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