[jdom-interest] children as List

Jason Hunter jhunter at collab.net
Sun Sep 3 12:48:48 PDT 2000

I'm in full agreement with Alex.  An Element being a List doesn't seem
like a good idea, for all the reasons Alex lays out.


"Rosen, Alex" wrote:
> > What is the definition of List if not an
> > ordered set of items, the items  normally being called the children
> > of the list? Element contains children in a particular order. Things
> > that have ordered children are lists. Therefore Element is a list.
> > QED.
> The things in a List are not usually called its children, but its elements or contents.
> (Talk about overloaded words - maybe "items" is better here.) So the system you propose
> would mean that you'd ask for an Element's second item, not its second child, which
> feels wrong.
> A List *contains* things. You *could* say that an Element contains other Elements, but
> it's much more natural to say that the Elements are children of the parent Element.
> When I think of a List, I think of a long, rectangular box with other boxes inside;
> when I think of Elements, I think of a box with other boxes drawn below it, as
> children.
> To me, the more relevent problem is that you'd get rid of the word "child" from the
> code:
> (1) element.getChildren().get(2)
> (2) element.getChild(2)
> (3) element.get(2)
> In the last case, what you're getting from the element is not obvious. As someone
> pointed out, since an Element is a container for Attributes too, this seems like a
> deal-breaker for me. The first two choices are much clearer.
> --Alex
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