[SML] Re: SML ?!?

James Tauber jtauber at jtauber.com
Sat Nov 27 05:26:39 GMT 1999

> > The character data content of an element is content. The value of an
> > attribute is markup.
> > Attributes, like other markup, provide information in
> That is subjective, and I don't agree.

Which bit is subjective? The fact that attributes are markup? No, the spec
indirectly says that.

> I agree that attributes can be useful, and that there are several
> sets of conventions when make a distinction between "content" and
> "markup" in some way that may consider attributes to be part of
> markup.

Attributes are markup and not content in the sense that those words are
using in the XML spec. Whether the distinction between markup and content in
the sense used in the spec is useful semantically is the issue.

> However, let's not make the mistake of saying that that's the only
> way to use XML.

I never said that's the only way of using XML. What I said was that it is
*a* way of using XML and so attributes do have some use (for those people
that adopt conventions that make the content/markup distinction)

It is not clear cut, as Robin's post demonstrates, but I have always seen
somewhat of a continuum where property/value data stuff (at one end) is
completely blurred and document markup stuff (at  the other end) is clearer
(although not complete clear).

Of course, content almost always has its own structure in some non-XML
notation. And as I argued at SGML/XML Asia Pacific 1998, the distinction
between what you leave as content and what you make markup is very


my be more usefully marked up as

    <letter name="m" capitalized="yes"/>
    <letter name="a"/>
    <letter name="x"/>

for some applications.


PS Boy am I going to be glad when Joe Stephenson gets back! :-)

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