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Limited modified eclectism (was Re: Reads like ASCII)



On Mon, 16 Sep 1996, Gavin Nicol wrote:

> In addition, the PI is effectively a kind of header that the storage
> manager will be using. If that is the case, why not define a proper
> header syntax instead of a hack? 

Yes. Here is what it achieves (it = limited modified eclectisism):

1) File can be valid SGML (as external general entity) 

2) File can be a canonical storage form, does not require any external 
labelling.

3) Encoding can be determined merely by looking at the header with any
standard tool that can do an ascii dump of a file (UNIX od, DOS Xtree,
etc)

4) Operates with ASCII, ISO 646, ISO 8859-n (+ Windows extended versions),
ISO10646 (Unicode UCS-2/UTF16, UCS4, UTF8, reuters method(?), variable and
fixed EUC for at least J & K & maybe C, shiftJIS (& maybe K version) (I
don't have Lunde with me to check up about Big5), + any state-driven 
encoding that has ISO646 in its inital state. 

5) File compatible with UNIX magic number system (not greatly important!)

>  I would prefer
> 
>   Content-Type: text/xml; charset=shift-jis<CR><LF>
>   <CR><LF>
>   [data]

What if the PI was the storage form of it? There is no reason why the 
data stream form of it couldn't send down 

    Content-Type: text/xml; charset=shift-jis<CR><LF>
    <CR><LF>
    <?XML 0.0 charset=shift-jis>

(or even strip out the PI and reinstert it when the data is stored).
Perhaps there are two different needs here that are reconcilable:
MIME systems need MIME headers, SGML systems accept dumb plain text
files. If the PI was transformable into the MIME header and back,
both needs are met.


Rick Jelliffe            http://www.allette.com.au/allette/ricko
                         email: ricko@allette.com.au
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