[SML] Whether to support Attribute or not?

Reynolds, Gregg greynolds at datalogics.com
Tue Nov 30 00:01:12 GMT 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sean McGrath [mailto:digitome at iol.ie]
> Sent: Sunday, November 28, 1999 3:49 AM
> >If you really want simplicity, why not make *all* the attribute names
> >explicit, instead of exempting only the generic identifier ("GI").
> ..snip..
> Turn it around for a moment. Think of it this way:
> 	1) elements are elements
> 	2) attribute values are kinda-sort elements except that they
> 	are constrained in various ways.

Beggin the question.  2 points deducted.  ;)

> Simplification:
> 	1) Make all attributes elements
> Expressive power lost = 0

Hm.  By my calculation, ExPow lossage = 50%.  I had a syntactic means of
expressing two different notions; now everything is one stew of elements.
I've lost the syntactic analog of what goes on in my itty bitty grey cell.

Most of the debate seems centered on what might make life easier for
software.  If that's the criterion, then no-atts wins by a mile.  But if the
criterion is making life easier for the writer/reader/designer of texts
(i.e. xml docs), then attributes are definitely in.


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