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From Peter Donald <pe...@apache.org>
Subject Re: XML Conventions
Date Sun, 08 Sep 2002 04:05:30 GMT
On Sun, 8 Sep 2002 14:04, Peter Donald wrote:
> Hiya,
> I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the conventions we should use
> in our xml files. Essentially when should we use attributes and when should
> we use elements.
> One school of thought saids we always use attributes if the value can only
> appear once. The negative aspect of this is that you can get elements with
> massive numbers of attributes like
> <component
>    name="X"
>    impl="com.biz.X"
>    version="1.0.2"
>    displayName="The magnificent X"
>    description="X is a ...."
>    ...
>  />
> This is fairly common in document centric descriptors.
> Another school of though saids that you never use attributes. Like most of
> descriptors that come out of Sun. It is easier to extend, but this ends up
> with fairly verbose files like the following. The other problem is that if
> you want to validate using DTDs you end up with stupid names like
> <component-name> in an element <component> (see servlet/ejb descriptors for
> an example).
> <component>
>   <name>X</name>
>   <impl>com.biz.X</impl>
>   <version>1.0.2</version>
>    ...
> </component>
> The other pattern I have noticed is that some people prefer to store "meta"
> data about element as attributes while they store "content" data as
> elements.
> So any preferences among these alternatives? My current thinking is that we
> should probably go with the Sun-style (no attributes) just because it is
> more common in java world. Thoughts?

Or maybe we go with a mixed approach because that may be the most human 


Peter Donald
"Liberty means responsibility. That is 
      why most men dread it." - Locke

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