[SML] Whether to support Attribute or not?

Paul Tchistopolskii paul at qub.com
Sun Nov 28 01:53:13 GMT 1999

> <notice>If the following makes you laugh, that's OK with me.</notice>
> Everything inside a start tag declares attribute values, including the
> tag name.  The tag name is accurately regarded as the value of the
> element's one and only nameless attribute.  Every element must have a
> value for its nameless attribute -- even SML elements.
> The value of the nameless attribute (the "tag name" or "generic
> identifier") is only minimally constrained; it can be can be almost
> any token, and its value can be used for any application-defined
> purpose whatsoever.
> Therefore, if anyone thinks SML can be made to work entirely without
> attributes, they should think again.  Attributes are of the essence of
> markup, and you can't get rid of them entirely.  


> Since we can't get rid of them entirely, where should SML draw the line, 
> and why?

Because avoiding the difference between attributes and elements 
simplifyes the addressing and *every* realted API ( Xpath, Xslt, DOM, 
XQL e t.c. )  a *lot*  + it  avoids 'multiple levels of encoding' problems e t.c. 

> Personally, I'm not easily persuaded that parsing an "=" sign is so
> very difficult that it deserves to be discarded in the name of
> simplicity.

This is not a problem. The problem is on the next level of 
framework, when we should care about attributes/elements.

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