Element Type

The innocent-sounding phrase "element type" is awfully useful. The type, of course, is the name that appears in the start- and end-tags. But there's a big (and useful) difference between "element" and "element type". Here's an example:

<p>XML doesn't <em>mean</em> anything, it's just a syntax. But syntax can be <em>very</em> useful.</p>

In the example, there are three elements, but only two element types: p and em.

If, when we're talking about XML, we're careful to respect the distinction between elements and their types, we'll save ourselves a lot of time and avoid considerable confusion.

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Copyright © 1998, Tim Bray. All rights reserved.