W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > November 1996

Re: (Repeat) Decision: C.4 (Predefined entities)

From: <lee@sq.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 96 01:44:42 EST
Message-Id: <9611110644.AA08897@sqrex.sq.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
>|> The list that we've adopted simply mirrors a decision of the HTML ERB.
>|> Their decision was to include the symbol set;
To include it in what exactly?

>|> the characters that Paul mentions aren't in it.  No argument about
>|> relative usefulness here, just consistency of W3C recommendations.
>| Consistency with HTML?
> Consistency with W3C recommendations.  As I said.

Yes, but which recommendations?  Sorry to be obtuse.  I don't see how
the W3C can usefully make general recommendtions about entity sets in
all languages -- they're not available in C, for example!  I'm not trying
to be awkward.  It is really not clear to me that a recommendation that
the W3C makes about HTML (presumably) should automatically apply to XML.

Earlier you said that the fixed wired-in list of EMPTY elements from
(an unspecified version of) HTML only applied in XML if the DOCTYPE was
HTML (and there was no DOCTYPE ... PUBLIC line), in order to activate
Kludge Mode.

Why does the fixed list of wired-in entity names work in all modes, and
not just Kludge Mode?

> | > All we're doing is recognizing usage in as conservative a way as
> | > possible.  To millions of people, these entity names have become part
> | > of the language.
> | 
> | The names from the Symbol font are in use by millions of people?

> I meant the entities from the HTML 3.2 set.

I don't have a problem with those names.

> Your argument seems to be
> with having any predefined entity names at all.

No.  I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.  I had two problems:
(1) introducing the Symbol names, seemingly from nowhere.
(2) predefining those Symbol entity names in such a way that they
    can't be overridden.  The ISO names were not intended to be used in
    that way, and are not suitable for such misuse.

> | Have you tried them in Netscape 2.02?  Netscape 3?  MSIE 3?
> 
> Have you tried them in the versions of these browsers that will
> available six months from now?  Check with Lauren if you don't believe
> me; she was at the same meeting.

No, but you shouted at me for daring to suggest that there were not
in fact millions of users for whom these names were part of the language.
What might or night not happen in six months has no bearing on that.
Netscape might demonstrate a browser with a million entity names in
it today, and thennot release it tomorrow.  Any company could.
And if they did release it, the markup might spread like wildfire or it
might be ignored.  We don't know yet.

> | > Anyone who uses &omega; at this point to mean
> | > anything other than GREEK SMALL LETTER OMEGA is either being
> | > obstinately perverse or just ignorant.
> | 
> | engineering OHM symbol, for example.  The SGML documentation for the
> | "omega" game might well use it for the name of that game, and I
> | would not call those people "obstinately perverse" nor "ignorant".
> 
> I certainly would if they intended their documents for distribution
> over the Web.

Why?  Panorama will interpret such files over the Web today correctly,
using standard HTTP.  Or do you think the Web is HTML???
Or is this because they would be ignorant of unannounced private
demonstrations of what will be released in six months' time?  Calling
people ignorant for not knowing such things seems unreasonable to me.

I might have had less of a problem if I had used "eacute" as an example.
But I didn't.

> | And taking a name like "prod" seems especially hard to defend.
> I said that I didn't like all of the names.  That's not the point.

It is my point.  Don't standardise on unsuitable things.
Well, as Vera Lynn might say, there are no angels treading here... :-)

> We have said a couple of times now that they cannot be overridden in
> documents.
> 
> | If you have a fixed list, it would be sensible to make it smaller.
> 
> Smaller than what every Web browser in the world will support six
> months from now?  Why?

Well, (1) I didn't know that and your announcement didn't mention it,
and (2) is Lynx going to be updated?  NCSA Mosaic on all platforms?
Or is ``all web browsers in the world'' actually only MSIE and Netscape
Navigator and any others written by fully paid-up W3C members?

[...]
> I think that it's a terrible shame we ever started using the
> vernacular for written communication; think of how much simpler our
> work would be if Latin were still the standard.  But you can't keep
> the peasants in line no matter how many academies you set up.  The
> peasants like offloading their declensions onto word order; they
> appear to like character entities, too.

I'm sorry if I seem like a peasant.  It's true that I don't know Latin.
I do not dislike entities, either.  I will try not to say any more on
this -- clearly I am out of place.  Sorry.

Lee
Received on Monday, 11 November 1996 01:44:40 EST

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