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Practical question: elements or attributes?

From: Arle Lommel <arle.lommel@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 10:45:34 +0200
Message-Id: <FFE9E4DC-41CA-4739-A8FC-9E631E8FA9B8@gmail.com>
To: Multilingual Web LT Public List <public-multilingualweb-lt@w3.org>
Hi all,

I realize that we are still trying to nail down the required data categories and that implementation is still a bit down the road, but I wanted to ask a general question: Do we prefer that our data categories be declared as attributes or as elements? Some, like translate, are quite easy to have as attributes and really only make sense that way, but what about something complex like processTrigger? That would be very difficult to declare as an attribute (it would need to be a bundle of attributes) and it makes sense to me to declare it as an element.

However, using elements would also be more disruptive to the target formats than would using attributes. For instance, in an HTML5+ITS combination the core structure of HTML5 could remain unaltered if we use attributes, but when we start adding elements, we are making more fundamental structural changes.

This question came up because I thought it would be a useful exercise to create examples in HTML5 snippets of what these data categories would actually look like, but I found I did not always know the best way to approach them. (It is a useful exercise, however, because it can help identify issues that need to be resolved. For example, in creating an example for autoLanguageProcessingRule I realized that its primary usage is probably not as a rule but as a pragma-type construct, which suggests we need to change the name somehow.

Any thoughts on general principles or how to decide? Yves, this sounds like something you would have an opinion on.

-Arle
Received on Tuesday, 17 April 2012 08:46:07 UTC

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