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Subject: Re: [opendocument-users] RE: Foreign elements and attributes

--- On Fri, 3/6/09, rjelliffe@allette.com.au <rjelliffe@allette.com.au> wrote:

> From: rjelliffe@allette.com.au <rjelliffe@allette.com.au>
> Subject: Re: [opendocument-users] RE: Foreign elements and attributes
> To: "Jesper Lund Stocholm" <4a4553504552@gmail.com>
> Cc: "ODF Users List" <opendocument-users@lists.oasis-open.org>
> Date: Friday, March 6, 2009, 6:50 AM
> > Now, I think dual conformance classes sounds like a
> But, as I commented, foreign attributes are different to
> foreign elements.
> For all intents and purposes, elements provide basic
> semantics, while
> attributes merely decorate. (I think the only
> attribute-only vocabulary I
> know is XLink.)

[Keeping in mind I just tuned in to this conversation when it was carried over to this list a few days back...]

I agree with what Jesper Lund Stocholm said on the 2nd of March, namely, that foreign attributes can allow arbitrary extensions just as easily as can foreign elements.

Perhaps the intent in most use cases would be to have attributes "merely decorate", but <n1:E1 fn2:a1>..</n1:E1> can be defined (by the creator of the foreign attribute fn2:a1) as <fn3:E2>..</fn3:E2> where the latter element has arbitrary semantics.

In this case, E2 may allow any attribute or child allowed by E1 (or not), but it may still behave entirely differently from E1 with respect to this content.

Of course, extensions can be carried out within the payload (without resorting to foreign elements or attributes) if the vendor really wants to, as pointed out by Alex Brown on the 4th.

Where I disagree with Alex is in the importance of having conformance classes, but I'll address that in a different reply.


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