May 6, 2009

0 Avoid using Attributes?

Should you avoid using attributes?

Some of the problems with using attributes are:

  • attributes cannot contain multiple values (child elments can)
  • attributes are not easily expandable (for future changes)
  • attributes cannot describe structures (child elements can)
  • attributes are more difficult to manipulate by program code.
  • attribute values are not easy to test against a Document Type Definition (dtd) - which is used to define the legal elements of an XML document.

If you use attributes as containers for data, you end up with documents that are difficult to read and maintain. Try to use elements to describe data. Use attributes only to provide information that is not relevant to the data.

Don't end up like this ( this is not how XML should be used ):

<note day="12" month="11" year="2002">
to="Rasik" from="Bapotra" heading="Remember" body="Don 't forget me this weekend!">



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