[jdom-interest] getChildren() vs getElements()

Brett McLaughlin brett.mclaughlin at lutris.com
Fri Sep 15 20:39:35 PDT 2000

Jason Hunter wrote:
> > getElements() is not ambiguous.  It doesn't imply that it recurses any
> > more than getChildren() implies that it recurses.  Once you accept
> > that an element can contain elements, it is not confusing (it only
> > sounds self-referential, but it's not).
> But element.getElement() -- the singular form -- does look way too
> self-referential.
> > getChildText(String name) is a convenience method anyway, but what
> > would be the problem with renaming it getText(String name) ?  The
> > presence of the parameter should clear up any ambiguity.
> As much as I love the use of such a method, that's just awful.  You
> don't change from parent text to child text retrieval based on a
> parameter.
> > Or not :-)
> Yeah, I choose that one.  :-)
> I like getChild() and getChildren() because it has a certain panache.
> Matches nicely with getParent().  Easy to tell them apart.  Nice and
> short.  That naming makes me happy in a Zen sort of way.

Now, if it was only correct. But it isn't, and a cursory reading of any
XML specification makes it confusing, especially getChildren(), which no
amount of "looking at the return value" can solve. I admit that
getChildren() is easier - you should at least be willing to admit that
it's semantically incorrect with respect to XML ;-) Let's be fair here.


> -jh-
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Brett McLaughlin, Enhydra Strategist
Lutris Technologies, Inc. 
1200 Pacific Avenue, Suite 300 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA 

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