Embedding Content as Element Content or As An Attribute Value

Chris Maden crism at ora.com
Fri Jan 9 15:09:44 GMT 1998

[Michael Kay]
> I think Marcus is wrong. The domain of application of SGML is
> different from the domain of application of XML,

Only accidentally.  The charter of XML is to provide a way to
communicate SGML over the Web.  XML is designed for documents.  That
it is applicable to data modeling is a happy convenience, and should
not be considered a restriction on the language.

> and the distinction between attributes and content which made sense
> in the SGML world is extremely perplexing to those with a background
> in data modelling and data structure design in other domains, who
> are legitimate members of the XML community.

Only accidentally.  XML is for *documents*, where the distinction
makes a whole lot of sense.  And it *does* make sense for some kinds
of data modeling: if the datum has internal structure, use subelements
or mixed content; if it's a quantum, use an attribute.  If you're not
sure what it will be, use mixed content for flexibility.

<!ENTITY crism PUBLIC "-//O'Reilly//NONSGML Christopher R. Maden//EN"
"<URL>http://www.oreilly.com/people/staff/crism/ <TEL>+1.617.499.7487
<USMAIL>90 Sherman Street, Cambridge, MA 02140 USA" NDATA SGML.Geek>

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