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Re: draft of requirement related to entities

From: Andrzej Zydron <azydron@xml-intl.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2005 11:20:45 +0000
Message-ID: <4243F40D.8030703@xml-intl.com>
To: "Lieske, Christian" <christian.lieske@sap.com>
CC: public-i18n-its@w3.org

Hi Christian,

I must congratulate yourself and Yves for such a thoughtful and well 
defined analysis. In a truly inspired stroke of genius it also 
highlights in itself one of the fundamental problems with Entities:

If you follow the link:


in Mozilla or Firefox you get the following parsing error:


XML Parsing Error: undefined entity
Location: http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/CR-xml-fragment-20010212#packaging
Line Number 48, Column 82:Fragment WG is chartered with defining a way 
to send fragments of an XML document&mdash;regardless


IE cheats and most probably reads it as HTML and has &mdash; as a 
predefined entity.

I would also expand on your point 3. re grammar: even if the entity 
itself is translated there may be significant grammatical problems for 
inflected languages for nouns. The translation will inevitably be in the 
nominative case, whereas the individual occurrences may well require 
different cases, rendering the surrounding sentence grammatically incorrect.

Personally, I would like entity references within documents to be 
flagged as deprecated as regards localization, along with CDATA 
sections. The one exception I would make is entities is for 
linguistically complete (i.e. stand alone) boilerplate text.



Lieske, Christian wrote:
> Hello,
> Yves and myself took the action item to come up with a first draft of
> requirements related to entities. Please find our initial
> thoughts below.
> The initial impetus for creating this requirement is
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-i18n-its/2005JanMar/0030.html
> Best regards,
> Christian and Yves
> ---
> Requirement:
> User-defined entities must be used only with care. XML applications
> which make use of entities have to build in such a way that
> entities can be localized easily (ie. the XML application has to be
> internationalized wrt. entities).
> Background:
> XML applications (ie. a combination of DTD/XSD, stylesheets, XML
> instances) often are subdivided into physical units called entities (see
> http://www.xml.com/axml/target.html#sec-physical-struct).
> Various types of entities exist (see
> http://tech.irt.org/articles/js212/#intro).
> Examples:
> 1- A character entity. The entity defines a single Unicode character.
> Example: <!ENTITY aacute "&#225;" >
> 2- A short element-free text. The entity defines a short text that
> contains only text (no element or other XML constructs). This is
> for instance an entity for a product name.
> Example: <!ENTITY ProductName "PictoMagic for Windows" >
> 3- A longer text with one or more elements. The entity defines a piece
> of boiler-plate text such as a copyright paragraph.
> Example: <!ENTITY CopyrightInfo "<a href='\copyright.htm'>Copyright</a>
> 2005 W3C.">
> Two aspects of entities are of particular importance wrt.
> internationalization and localization:
> 1.	entities are defined
> 2.	entities are used
> The snippet
> 	<!ENTITY ProductName "PictoMagic for Windows" >
> for example defines an entity called 'ProductName', and the snippet
> 	The latest version of &ProductName; features many enhancements.
> references/uses the entity.
> If internationalization and localization are not addressed for
> entity-related work several issues may arise:
> 1.	Entity reference cannot be resolved
> Example: the definition is not available to the XML processor
> 2.	Entity definition does not fit with the surrounding context
> language-wise
> Example: The context in 'Das Produkt &ProductName; ist mit vielen
> Erweiterungen ausgestattet worden' is German whereas the
> definition may be in English
> 3.	Entity definition does not fit with the surrounding context
> grammar-wise
> Example: The syntax in 'The latest version of &ProductName; features
> many enhancements' may be incorrect if the definition
> designates an object in plural.
> Notes:
> Ideally, the solution which the WG will produce will be applicable not
> only wrt. entities but also in the realm of XInclude (see
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xinclude/) or even fragments (see 
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/CR-xml-fragment-20010212#packaging).


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Received on Friday, 25 March 2005 11:20:13 UTC

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