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

Re: RS/RE: basic questions

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 1996 06:08:19 +0000
Message-Id: <2.2.32.19960921060819.007527d0@pop.intergate.bc.ca>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
At 02:10 AM 20/09/96 GMT, Charles F. Goldfarb wrote:

Not much new in this message, just trying to summarize trade-offs.
The question is, should we worry if

[1] <p>Listen to my heart beat and beat and beat and beat</p>  | 

parses differently from

[2] <p>Listen to my heart beat
    <?Director Audio On>
    and beat and beat.
    </p>

Charles points out that this difference flies in the fact of the fact that:

>A principal objective of SGML is that all applications should receive the same
>"true information" about the document.

And I agree 100%.  I am proposing (perhaps only as a strawman) that in XML we 
make it 100% crystal clear that in in case [2], the "true information" is, in 
C notation, 
   "\nListen to my heart beat\n\nand beat and beat\n"
or if you typed it in on a windows box
   "\r\nListen to my heart beat\r\n\r\nand beat and beat\r\n"

No ambiguity whatsoever.  The costs are: 
[a] difficulty in figuring out how to make this 8879-compliant, and 
[b] the fact that you can no longer use whitespace around markup if you are 
    worried about the application's handling of line breaks in the data, so you 
    might in fact have to use

    <p>Listen to my heart beat<? Director Audio on> and beat and beat.</p>

    which is harder to read, and hard to type in vi, for long paragraphs.

The advantages are: 
[a] you can explain quickly, clearly, and precisely exactly what the "true  
    information" is
[b] Implementation is very easy

Charles' proposal in this area is to require explicit markup around 
pseudo-elements in mixed content, probably minimized into something like '"' 
via shortref, e.g.
<p>"Listen to my heart beat " <!-- trailing space required, right?  -->
<?Director Audio On>
"and beat and beat."
</p>

Advantages:
[a] & [b] exactly as above, and
[c] it's 8879-compliant

Costs
[a] people have to put in a little more markup
[b] it is unlikely that XML can ever be fed to an HTML reader.

Not really an easy choice; but I think we've succeeded in shaking out what
the issues are.
Received on Saturday, 21 September 1996 09:10:21 EDT

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