[SML] Re: SML ?!?

James Tauber jtauber at jtauber.com
Fri Nov 26 16:46:28 GMT 1999

> See http://www.xml.com/pub/1999/11/sml/index.html for an article
> the SML idea and the controversy surrounding it.

I noted with interest (and disagreement) the technical arguments against

If XML is used for representing tree structures or property/value pairs,
then, yes, attributes can give way to child elements.

But if XML is used for *markup*, attributes make sense and should not be
replaced by child elements.
(I have made this point whenever attribute vs element discussions have

Why? Because in *markup* there is a distinction between content and markup.
The character data content of an element is content. The value of an
attribute is markup. Attributes, like other markup, provide information in
addition to the textual content.

For example, a person thinking how to express the fact that Max is a dog
that is black might use:


However, a person wanting to markup the text "Max" indicating that he is a
black dog couldn't do the above. They might, instead, use:

<dog colour="black">Max</dog>

So if XML is being used for marking up existing textual content, attributes
have a definite place.

James Tauber / jtauber at jtauber.com / www.jtauber.com
<pipe>Ceci n'est pas une pipe</pipe>

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at ic.ac.uk
Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To unsubscribe, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
unsubscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at ic.ac.uk)

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list