RFC: Attributes and XML-RPC

John Tigue john.tigue at tigue.com
Tue Sep 21 17:14:43 BST 1999

Winer wrote:
> You may have noticed that the XML-RPC spec says
> nothing about attributes, and none of the specified
> functionality uses attributes in any way.
> This is not an accident, there were many discussions about
> this, and I was always against using attributes because
> they couldn't expand in the future. I imagined that we
> would use an attribute for something and later would want
> to allow that to be a hierarchy, for it to contain
> sub-information, and there is no way to do that with
> attributes. 

Perhaps my memory fails me but I clearly remember being in
a SOAP meeting at Microsoft where a very wrong headed gentleman
from Redmond (name withheld to protect the confused)
responding to my question "why no attributes". One high
profile XML guy from Microsoft who was present at the
meeting was taken aback by the decisions made. The first 
gentleman expressed the opinion that attributes in general were 
an unnecessary redundancy in the XML spec and he would have
nothing to do with them in SOAP.

As for "expand"-able attributes, an IDREF would suffice.
See XML1.0 at:


John Tigue
john.tigue at tigue.com

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