When to use attributes vs. elements

John E. Simpson simpson at polaris.net
Fri Feb 5 17:22:47 GMT 1999

At 08:17 AM 2/5/99 -0800, Peter Seibel wrote:
>Is there an XML philosophy (or an SGML philosophy for that matter) about
>when to use attributes vs when to use elements when desigining a document

For an SGML view, here's a comment (dated 28 Apr 1992) from C.M.

Last April this was the topic of a thread here on XML-DEV. You can check
the archives, or see it all in one package here:

Both references are from Robin Cover's excellent (and frequently updated)
SGML/XML site, obviously located at http://www.oasis-open.org/cover/.

In general, one thing to remember is that (at least for simple XML
applications) attribute values are "invisible" when the document is viewed.


John E. Simpson
Just XML (ISBN 0-13-943417-8)
Available now from Prentice Hall PTR

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