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Re: SDATA, again

From: Dave Peterson <davep@acm.org>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 09:36:25 -0500
Message-Id: <v01540b1faed3207186ea@[207.60.9.81]>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
"David G. Durand" <dgd@cs.bu.edu> recently wrote:
>>From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>

>> - this was not what SDATA was meant for, says Charles among others, and

As I understand 8879 and ESIS as currently described, I think it fair to say:
Internal SDATA, when encountered, should be passed to the application
marked as such and with internal-to-the-document entity name attached.
Then the application is free to do with it what it wishes.  By definition,
the text of the entity is system dependent.  If XML wishes to consider
all XML implementations one system for this purpose and prescribe the
appropriate content and behaviour, this is not inconsistent with 8879.

>> - James pointed out that if what you really need is a string
>>   associated with a particular character, then there should be a facility
>>   for this, e.g. an attributed character reference, rather than
>>   kludging our way through with SDATA, and furthermore
>
>This might as well be implemented by SDATA, given that SDATA is already used
>that way, and given that we don't otherwise need SDATA (agreed by all I
>think).

I've not heard directly from James this "pointing out", but it sounds like
he means one of two things:

    o   If he means to bind the character to an unused code point in the
        document character set, thereby adding the character to the
        document's character repertoire, this will not work for XML
        since XML intends to prescribe one universal document character
        set--one universal character repertoire and one universal
        interpretation of numeric character references as characters
        in that repertoire.

    o   If he means to create a new form of character reference, other
        than the existing numeric and named references (e.g., "&#123;"
        and "&#RE;"), in which an abstract "character" is tied to the
        reference via some kind of declaration that associates a
        description of the character with an internal name, then that
        sounds like an SDATA entity by another name, with a more closely
        circumscribed interpretation than SDATA currently has.

        A "CHAR" entity type has been proposed in one forum or another,
        but not discussed to any great length yet.

Hope this helps.


Dave Peterson
SGMLWorks!

davep@acm.org
Received on Tuesday, 10 December 1996 09:38:17 EST

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