Attributes vs. text content (Was Re: RFC: Attributes and XML-RPC)

joubin joubin at
Tue Sep 21 21:31:52 BST 1999

I am not why HTML programmers would find attributes confusing:  They must
have seen plenty of <A HREF="">ABC</a> 's, so an attribute
shouldn't be too much of a shock to their system.


If, as a matter of convention, one (only) uses attributes to convey element
metainfo (i.e. information _about_ the element) then, in fact, you would
have a much more coherent document (cum protocol) with clear distinction
between information and meta-information.


<?xml version="1.0"?>
<methodCall type="asynchronous">
     // .. etc.


<?xml version="1.0"?>
     // .. etc.

The latter mixes info and metainfo.  Not a good strategy, IMO, in long haul;
specially if one is aiming for simplicity, and clarity.

Don Park wrote:
> It is true that attributes are redundant
> in a sense but they are far from
> useless.

It would be more correct to say that "attributes [could be] redundant".
They don't have to be.

So lets not get rid of attributes and start writing things like:


I wager most HTML 'programmers' would find _that_ confusing.

member, alpha zero LLC              202.462.1655                   dc

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