When I designed the original attribute XML file format, I wanted to provide the template designer the ability to define information categories for filtering and then use those categories to define analyses. Below is an example:
<Categories Default="Mechanics"> <Cat>Time</Cat> <Cat>Mechanics</Cat> </Categories> <Analyses> <Analysis Type="Solid Mechanics"> <Cat>Mechanics</Cat> <Cat>Time</Cat> </Analysis> </Analyses>
In addition, after the file is read in, the reader would compare the list of categories defined in the categories section with all of the categories defined in attribute resource. If the attribute resource contained additional categories, the reader would report an error.
Since the first version of the attribute file, I had added the ability to reuse existing attribute files via the Includes Section. Though this has been a great feature, it did have an unexpected side-effect w/r to the Categories Section. When including a file with a Categories section, if the consuming file needed to add Categories, it would first need to duplicate the Categories Section of all previously included files. This can result in errors due to potential typos.
I was wondering if we should remove the Category Section from the next version (Version 3) of the attribute resource file. The Default Category could then be moved to the resource’s root node. The new check would be to compare the categories assigned to the different Analyses and if any were not being used by the attribute resource, those missing categories would be reported as warning.
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