element farms (containers for repeated elements) needed?
the first eleven contributions in this thread started
as an off-list email discussion; i have posted them
here with the consent of their authors. -- _w.lipp
From: Robert A. Morris
Montag, 26. Januar 2004 14:08
There are VERY strong engineering reasons: If you change the structure
of the contained elements in the you need not change the structure of
the thing that contains the group. Furthermore, if you use strong enough
typing, this means that you can have "group of elments of type X" be
reused in many places and have only to change the type definition of X
to change them all. I could probably go further down this road invoking
inheritance examples that are at least as persuasive, though those might
be too technical for the people who make these requests.
It is WAY more robust to systematically group repeatable elements in a
container. This is more evident when you think of the corresponding
problem in (any) OOP language. Your (inferred) reluctance is well-founded.
IMO requests to drop containers are almost always misguided by the
belief that XML should be easily written and read by humans, when in
fact it is in practice rarely done so, except by programmers debugging
Robert A. Morris
Professor of Computer Science
phone (+1)617 287 6466
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