Data attributes (was: Stylesheets considered limiting)

W. Eliot Kimber eliot at
Sun Nov 15 14:51:10 GMT 1998

At 07:49 PM 11/14/98 +0100, james anderson wrote:
>the situation described below is a case where a namespace prefix is well used
>to ensure unambiguous naming. if one uses the notation or entity name as the
>name prefix it awards the same expressive power as the implicit qualification
>of data attributes.

I don't think it works though, because you don't know for sure that a given
prefixed attribute is associated with a given entity--besides entity names
are not, as far as I know, definable as namespace prefixes (that is, if a
prefix happens to be spelled the same as an entity name, there's nothing
that defines a necessary relationship between the two).

If entity names were automatically name-space names it means that the
name-space name space and the entity name space were irrevocalby combined.
This would be pretty odd, I think, and certainly violate the basic
principle of distinct name spaces staying distinct. By constrast, with the
notation attribute mechanism, the elements attribute name space and
notations attribute name space are only combined when the author or DTD
designers do so by choice.  And in any case, the Data Attributes for
Elements facility provides a mechanism for disambiguating names in the two
spaces when there are clashes.


<Address HyTime=bibloc>
W. Eliot Kimber, Senior Consulting SGML Engineer
ISOGEN International Corp.
2200 N. Lamar St., Suite 230, Dallas, TX 75202.  214.953.0004

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