XML tag usage question

Subject: XML tag usage question
From: siliconwriter -at- comcast -dot- net
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com (Tech Whirlers)
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2006 19:40:58 +0000

The head of software development at my client's company is an excellent writer. He recently wrote drafts of three articles about XML tagging, which will be finalized by me and distributed to customers. Here is the problem:

In defining an XML tag, you usually use the word "attribute" to describe a defined field within an element. My guy is using the word "prop", short for property. I believe that readers familiar with XML (which will be many of them) might be confused by our renaming of a familiar term. However, if I change "prop" to "attribute" throughout the paper, I must do so in every other paper written by the software department, and that's a lot of papers.

Should I change the word "prop" to "attribute" throughout the documents, or should I go ahead and accept this unfamiliar usage, possibly with a "disclaimer" or "definition" at the start of each chapter? The first benefits my readers, the second my client. Any thoughts?


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