Questions about The Questions

Before attempting to answer the questions asked in the forms associated with
DD-1996-002.html it is necessary to raise some questions about the
expectations of our user community. For example, before choosing whether or
not to retain the distinction between abstract and reference concrete
syntaxes we need to determine whether the reference concrete syntax as
defined in 1986 is still applicable in 1996. For this we need to consider
the following points:

- HTML has extended the Quantities defined in the reference concrete syntax:
should XML offer less flexibility than HTML?

- the SGML community has already agreed on a new set of Quantity defaults
for the next version of SGML: should XML offer less flexibitity than the
next version of SGML

- the reference concrete syntax only permits the use of Latin alphanumeric
characters in names of elements, attributes and tokens: should XML be
designed to allow users to define elements, attributes and their values in a
form that is dependent on their local language, or must they restrict
themselves to shared names that have meanings defined in English only?

- only Arabic numerals are recognised in the 1986 version of 8879: should
other forms of number be allowed for in XML attribute values? (This is asked
somewhat tounge-in-cheek to show a corollary of the previous question.)

- the default character set in 8879 matches that of the reference concrete
syntax: should users be able to select which character set is most
appropriate for their documents and specify an SGML declaration in which
only a subset of ISO  10646 is recognized as valid while still retaining the
reference concrete syntax for markup?

There are many other questions that need to be asked with respect to the
other questions we are asked to vote on, but there is no general provision
for us to attach qualifications or comments to our answers. I would suggest
that a Comments textarea could usefully be added to each question to allow
us to qualify our responses where appropriate.

Martin Bryan, The SGML Centre, Churchdown, Glos. GL3 2PU, UK 
Phone/Fax: +44 1452 714029   WWW home page: http://www.u-net.com/~sgml/