ID attribute defaults

Tim Bray tbray at
Wed Nov 11 20:16:52 GMT 1998

At 02:41 PM 11/11/98 -0500, John E. Simpson wrote:
>I understand why IDs don't typically have defaults, each one required to be
>OTOH, what about a data-based (not database-based) XML app whose content
>model, especially at the top of the tree, consists largely of elements
>which may occur only once in an entire document instance? 

Yes, that's a plausible scenario in which a defaulted ID attribute 
might be useful.  Sorry... XML rules it out.

As for my having defaulted the "target" attribute in the annotated
spec, the "target" is the *same* on every annotation, that's why
it's defaulted.  Nothing could be more different from an ID attribute.
The annotation doesn't say (maybe should) that the thing that 
generates the HTML copies through any attributes it doesn't
recognize, so the defaulted target="spec" ends up in every one
of the hundreds of annotations. -Tim

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