Questions on DCD

Tim Bray tbray at
Thu Oct 1 15:49:51 BST 1998

At 08:13 PM 10/1/98 +0800, Olivo Miotto wrote:
>3) A philosophical question: has anyone drawn up a clear functional
>distinction between attributes and elements? DCD astutely refers
>to both as properties, and indeed they have things in common.
>Saying they are interchangeable (or at least that attributes can be
>changed into elements) is however an oversimplification. It seems
>to me that attributes are modifiers of the functionality of the element
>they describe, while elements describe its content. I am not able to
>formalize this very clearly though. Can someone help?

Nobody has ever managed to formalize a decision procedure.  DCD
deliberately takes the view that the declarative tools used to
constrain elements and attributes should be as similar as possible
so as not to prejudice document designers' selections of what they'd
like to use.

>6) I know this is not going to make me popular, but I think that there
>are too many datatypes

I do too, and I've warned my co-editors to expect massive amputations
in the committee process, if DCD ever gets taken up.


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