[SML] Whether to support Attribute or not?

Reynolds, Gregg greynolds at datalogics.com
Mon Nov 29 23:35:41 GMT 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Clark C. Evans [mailto:clark.evans at manhattanproject.com]
> Sent: Monday, November 29, 1999 1:59 AM
>   Is having a syntax level distinction between information and
>   information about the information (meta information) necessary?

Ok, but you get a cleaner formulation if you drop the language about
info/metainfo from your question.  None of that matters, since the issue is
purely syntactic - users can use the syntactic devices in whatever way they
choose.  So the question is really just whether or not we need two distinct
syntactic devices.  Doesn't even matter what they're called - in fact
calling them "foo" and "bar" syntax would probably clarify things, since
"attribute" and "element" carry lots of semantic freight on their own.  The
entire discussion about what attributes and elements "mean" is very
interesting but not terribly useful, since there is no need to define them

My own opinion fwiw is that having two such devices is well worth it,
precisely because with them I can model ordinary intuitions about the world
- things and their properties.  Sometimes that might mean info and metainfo.
In any case, I don't think anybody will seriously argue against the
proposition that chopping the world into related things (structures) on the
one hand and properties (attributes) on the other is pretty dadgummed
useful.  My keyboard has a bunch of keys (structure), but it doesn't have
beige.  Obviously one can model beige as a thing it has, and in some cases
it may make sense to do so, but there will always be people and situations
where you want to model ordinary intuition, in which e.g. color is percieved
as a property of a thing.  Collapsing the syntax into a single abstract
structuring mechanism would just increase the distance between the language
syntax and ordinary discourse.


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