Attribute Question

James Tauber jtauber at
Wed Aug 26 23:55:20 BST 1998

-----Original Message-----
From: Frank Blau <fblau at>

>If I have 3 attributes ("Format", "Usage", and "Loop") that I want every
>element in my DTD to have, is there a way to globally declare them?


>Do subelements inherit the attributes of the parent element?

Not as far as the processor is concerned, although an application might
behave this way.

Common practice is to declare a parameter entity representing that part of
an ATTLIST declaration you want to use globally and then reference that
parameter entity in a separate ATTLIST declaration for each element.

For example:

<!ENTITY % global.atts 'format CDATA #REQUIRED usage CDATA #REQUIRED loop
CDATA #implied'>

<!ATTLIST element1 %global.atts; >
<!ATTLIST element2 %global.atts; >
<!ATTLIST element3
    <!-- element3 specific atts here -->
    %global.atts; >

James Tauber / jtauber at
Lecturer and Associate Researcher
Electronic Commerce Network             (
Curtin Business School                  (
Perth, Western Australia                (

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