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Subject: RE: [ubl-ndrsc] Elements vs. attributes: discussion kickoff

Title: Message
I tend to agree. The only real use I can see for attributes of any kind is for genuine meta-data as eluded by Matt. I prefer the use of attributes in schema when ever possible as I find it much easier to map the elements to databases that need to store the data contained the UBL instance documents. It certainly makes life easier and less confusing. What we should be specifying then are the particular instances when to use attributes, rather than creating a rule that satisfies an 80/20 situation, i.e.: ID, IDREF and xml:Lang as espoused by Mark.
John Dumay
-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Gertner [mailto:matthew.gertner@schemantix.com]
Sent: Monday, 4 February 2002 1:43 AM
To: 'CRAWFORD, Mark'; ubl-ndrsc@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [ubl-ndrsc] Elements vs. attributes: discussion kickoff

My position on this is use attributes only for document level information. This means that for the most part only built-in document level attributes such as xml:lang, id and idref should be used and elements should be used for all other transmitted data.  My understanding is there are parsing, ordering, and performance issues surrounded with attributes.  I also believe that by enforcing attributes at the document level, we will provide clarity, avoid confusion, and enable better structuring.

Here, here! My tendency would be to throw down the gauntlet and ask: why ever use attributes? Most of the reasons raised by Gunther are no longer relevant now that XSD lets elements do most of what attributes can (i.e. be simple types, hold enumerations, have default values, etc.). Using both elements and attributes is just confusing for the user, developer and others, poorly supported by authoring environments, etc. I would suggest that use of attributes be restricted to real metadata: identifiers, links, etc. as proposed by Mark.



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