Embedding Content as Element Content or As An Attribute Value

Tyler Baker tyler at infinet.com
Thu Jan 8 19:59:28 GMT 1998

I am somewhat of a newbie to XML (aren't most people I suppose) as an
intermediary persistence framework for a distributed application I am
writing and I am currently in the process of writing several DTD's.

I looked at Microsoft's Channel Definition Format as well as many other
DTD's and noticed that many people seem to embed what seemingly should
be element content as a REQUIRED element attribute.  In the case of CDF,
most of the elements are EMPTY with one attribute named VALUE that is

I would think that in these cases an "author" tag should embed its
content as follows <author>Mr John Smith</author>, rather than how
Microsoft CDF embeds its content which is <author VALUE="Mr John Smith"

Is this simply just a design preference, or else is there a concrete
reason why what seemingly is content should be embedded as an attribute.

If anyone could enlighten me as to what I should probably do here, then
that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanx in advance,


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