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Re: [widgets] [preference element] question on the value attribute

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 18:03:47 +0200
Cc: public-webapps <public-webapps@w3.org>
Message-Id: <FFAB797D-93ED-4FE2-B53C-5BD0DA5A27F7@berjon.com>
To: Jean-Claude Dufourd <jean-claude.dufourd@telecom-paristech.fr>
On Jun 24, 2009, at 14:16 , Jean-Claude Dufourd wrote:
> Robin Berjon a écrit :
>> If by text content you mean actual text content, then there is no  
>> difference whatsoever between what can be stored in an attribute  
>> value and the text content (as per DOM 3 textContent) of an element  
>> — at least not semantically.
> JCD: I think I agree with you Robin, but Marcos writes something  
> different.

Which, obviously, means that Marcos must be wrong. Attributes can  
contain the same text as element content (though some syntactical  
details may vary).

> In the IDL, both are DOMStrings right ? Is there spec text limiting  
> attributes ? I cannot find a

I'm not sure what you mean by "in the IDL" since this is an XML  
question and is therefore entirely unrelated to APIs. In A+E,  
preferences are returned as DOMStrings indeed, but that is orthogonal  
to the value space of the way in which it is captured in syntax. In  
fact, the value space of DOMStrings is larger than that which can be  
encoded in XML text anyway.

>> If by text content you mean structured content, then we're talking  
>> about turning the preference system into an XML storage system  
>> since most XML constructs could appear there.
> JCD: Are you not contradicting yourself ? If the two are identical  
> in storing possibilities, there should be no difference (if  
> appropriate quoting of special characters is applied).

No. They have the same storage for *text content*. But elements can  
contain a bunch of things that attributes can't: elements, processing  
instructions, comments, CDATA sections...

>> Do you mind clarifying which one it is you are wondering about?
> JCD: It is indeed a question of allowing the users (users of widget  
> spec = authors actually) to place anything in the value of a  
> preference, including bits of XML or whatever that needs a CDATA  
> section around it to fit in an XML file.

You can indeed place anything unstructured inside the value of a  
preference (irrespective of which approach might be taken).

> To reformulate my current understanding, informed by your answer,  
> using an attribute vs. the text content is equivalent in terms of  
> which strings are allowed, but the attribute format is more  
> difficult to express (because more intricate quoting is needed) than  
> the text content.

I would hardly call quote escaping intricate (it's only one extra rule  
compared to element content). An attribute can be seen as semantically  
preferable here as the value is not intended to be structured or  
extensible.

-- 
Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/
     Feel like hiring me? Go to http://robineko.com/
Received on Wednesday, 24 June 2009 16:04:25 GMT

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