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Re: Attributes ordering

From: Nataraj Ramalingam <Nataraj.Ramalingam@aricent.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 12:12:34 +0530
To: noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com
Cc: gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com, xmlschema-dev@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF81CAD51F.5D97963B-ON652572A6.0023DC96-652572A6.0024DB81@flextronicssoftware.com>
Hi Noah,

Thanks for your answer. I have one more doubt w.r.t ordering of elements. 
consider the following example. 
<xs:complexType name="test">
                <xs:element name="a" type="xs:string"/>
                <xs:element name="b" type="xs:string" minOccurs="0"/>
                <xs:element name="c" type="xs:string"/>

<xs:element name="test" type="test"/>

Eventhough we use a sequence type here, does this mandate the order of 
elements in the instance to be only a,b,c.
Or, since "b" is optional ( minOccurs=0 ), can it (should it, by any means 
)come after "c" in the instance? for example, can the ordering be a,c,b? 

Kind Regards,

Sent by: xmlschema-dev-request@w3.org
03/21/2007 03:12 AM

Nataraj Ramalingam/CHE/HSS@HSS
"G. Ken Holman" <gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com>, xmlschema-dev@w3.org
Re: Attributes ordering

Nataraj Ramalingam writes:

> So, this confirms that attributes can appear in any order in an 
> element instance. 

The short and simple answer is "yes".  For almost all practical purposes, 
the order of attributes is insignificant, as are some other details like 
whether you choose to use single or double quotes around attribute values.

Having given the simple answer, let me signal where exceptions can be 
found.  Some tools do work with XML at a lower level.  For example, some 
(not all) XML editors try to preserve the look of an XML document so that 
human readers can have an easy time.  So, for such tools, the order and 
even the layout of the attributes may be considered significant. 
Furthermore, XML is in the end text, and if you choose to use text tools 
on it, then things XML considers insignificant may matter.  A classic 
example is using source control systems to manage XML documents.  It's 
very typical to find arguments when XML projects start up about whether 
its OK for an XML editor to change attribute quotes from single to double, 

because many editors don't want to track what kind of quoting was used. 
>From an XML perspective, such changes are just fine, but it can lead CVS 
to conclude that 90% of your file has changed when in fact nothing 
important was touched.

Bottom line, attribute order mostly doesn't matter.


Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

Nataraj Ramalingam <Nataraj.Ramalingam@aricent.com>
Sent by: xmlschema-dev-request@w3.org
03/19/2007 01:47 AM
        To:     "G. Ken Holman" <gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com>
        cc:     xmlschema-dev@w3.org, (bcc: Noah Mendelsohn/Cambridge/IBM)
        Subject:        Re: Attributes ordering

Thanks Ken. 

So, this confirms that attributes can appear in any order in an element 

Kind Regards, 

xmlschema-dev-request@w3.org wrote on 03/19/2007 03:10:52 AM:

> At 2007-03-17 17:26 +0530, Nataraj Ramalingam wrote:
> >I am little new to XML. I have a basic doubt in the ordering of 
> >attributes inside a complex type.
> >...
> >I know that the elements ordering can be controlled using "sequence" 
> >or "all". But i am not sure about the same behavior with attributes.
> Note that XML 1.0 fourth edition (and all editions) states in section 
>    http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/REC-xml-20060816/#sec-starttags

>    Note that the order of attribute specifications in a start-tag
>    or empty-element tag is not significant.
> I hope this helps.
> . . . . . . . . . . . . Ken
> --
> World-wide corporate, govt. & user group XML, XSL and UBL training
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Received on Thursday, 22 March 2007 17:28:25 UTC

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