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Re: XML character sets: a proposal



At 07:44 PM 9/13/96 GMT, Gavin Nicol wrote:
>I should note that I have never said that I wish to *require* that all
>XML parsers be open-ended. I have no problem at all with seeing Latin
>1 XML systems, and SJIS XML systems, though I expect most will
>actually be UNICODE based.

I think that a major goal of XML should be "reliable interoperability". I do
not think that "support for whatever you need to do" should be a major goal.
If people start creating standards-compliant SJIS XML documents on the Web
and standards-compliang XML client software cannot read it, then we have a
PROBLEM, in my opinion.

When I have heard SGML "sold" I often hear "SGML is completely platform
independant". People presume that this means that they can take any SGML
document from any platform and use it on any other platform. Well, SGML is
platform independant, but SGML documents aren't really. I feel that it is
time to make the language where the documents are truly platform
independent. SGML will always continue to be the flexible language that
supports idiosyncratic needs at the possible expense of document portability.

One last question: Isn't it reasonable to expect that most local encodings
could be translated into XML by the HTTP server on transmission? If so,
there is no loss of convenience in requiring the on-the-wire format to be
standardized in the same way that you would expect FTP keywords to always be
ASCII and IP packets to have a certain byte-ordering.

I don't know what we'll decide in the end, Gavin, but isn't it nice that
we're talking about Unicode _as a minimum_? "We've come a long way, Baby."

 Paul Prescod



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