travis forden wrote:
> i agree that one should streamline their data and structures; however, sometimes elements can have optional data. for example, i maintain a simple address book in XML and some of the elements remain empty because i do not have data for that element (my dad's fax number, for example, because he doesn't have a fax). so at times the elements have data, sometimes they don't.
There's no reason for the element to exist if there's no data to put in it. If you did something like <fax exist="no"/> then I could accept your position, because even though there is no data content, information is being translated, namely that this person does not have a fax. Simply leaving it empty does not relay any information - it might be empty because you forgot to
fill it out, didn't know the number or because your father has no fax machine. Or it might be empty because your structure requires it to exist, even though you know that it isn't applicable to all addresses.
Someone has a really clever saying about the absense of data not being the same as saying that the data doesn't exist - if they were kind, they would repost it so I can once again put it somewhere where I can refer back to it then forget where that is...:-)
Marcus Carr email: [log in to unmask]
Allette Systems (Australia) www: http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."