[SML] Whether to support Attribute or not?

Joshua E. Smith jesmith at kaon.com
Mon Nov 29 20:50:01 GMT 1999

>  "Why should attributes be supported in SML?"

Because without them, it's not clear how I can point at something.

- SML should be useful for conveying "objects" (blocks of related data)
- Objects often reference one another ("pointing")
- You need a way to identify objects, so you can point to them

Example in XML:

<Thing id='foo' />

Now I can refer to "foo" or the "Thing called foo" or whatever is
appropriate in my application, and it's pretty clear in my language which
thing I'm referring to.

Sure, you can normalize this to:


But, well.... yuck.  This is just... strange.

Doesn't it strike you as perverse to dive into the sub-elements of an
element to get a handle to the parent?

-Joshua Smith

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