XML elements can have attributes, just like HTML.
Attributes are designed to contain data related to a specific element.
Attribute values must always be quoted. Either single or double quotes can be used.
For a person's gender, the <person> element can be written like this:
or like this:
If the attribute value itself contains double quotes you can use single quotes, like in this example:
or you can use character entities:
Take a look at these examples:
In the first example gender is an attribute. In the last, gender is an element. Both examples provide the same information.
There are no rules about when to use attributes or when to use elements in XML.
The following three XML documents contain exactly the same information:
A date attribute is used in the first example:
A <date> element is used in the second example:
An expanded <date> element is used in the third example: (THIS IS MY FAVORITE):
Some things to consider when using attributes are:
Don't end up like this:
Sometimes ID references are assigned to elements. These IDs can be used to identify XML elements in much the same way as the id attribute in HTML. This example demonstrates this:
The id attributes above are for identifying the different notes. It is not a part of the note itself.
What I'm trying to say here is that metadata (data about data) should be stored as attributes, and the data itself should be stored as elements.