Attributes with Intent

Peter Murray-Rust peter at
Mon May 4 22:09:58 BST 1998

At 09:17 04/05/98 -0500, W. Eliot Kimber wrote:
>At 08:33 AM 5/4/98 -0400, David Megginson wrote:
>>Your point is well-taken, though: fragments of XML documents are often
>>tightly bound to their context (similar situations would involve
>>attributes for effectivity, security level, revision status, etc.).
>But one of the advantages of a hierarchically-structured data
>representation is the ability to have scopes to which properties apply. If
>a processor can't at least maintain a stack of the attributes of the
>ancestors of the current element, it's pretty darn braindead.

I suppose most of my code must be pretty darn undead then... The point I
was making is that 'scope' is introduced in a total of about 3-4 sentences
in total in the XML + XLink specs. It's actually quite easy for an
implementer to miss. I'm not complaining - I'm saying that it would be
useful to discuss whether we can all implement this easily and if so how.
[BTW how much freely available is actually out there which implements
any/all of these attributes?]  The touchstone of XML-applications - the
desperate Perl Hacker - is not necessarily going to build a stack of the
attributes of an/every element. And I'd represent - gently - that some
people (at least one) are going to have met attribute re-mapping for the
first time and possibly get muddled. 

For example it seems that a Node must have 2-3 sets of methods:
	getAttributeValue(String attName);
	getPseudoAttributeValue(String specialAttnameInContext)
	getPseudoAttributeValueAfterRemapping(String possiblyRemappedAttributeName)

If this is a useful way forward (other than the somewhat contrived names)
it would be nice to know. If not, what?


Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
net connection
VSMS, Virtual Hyperglossary

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