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Re: RS/RE quoted data proposal



Liam Quin wrote:
> A language needs to be
> * consistent & regular
> * easy to explain
> * clearly and unambiguously defined.
> 
> It is a fact of history that SGML does not meet these goals, but any new
> system for which wide deployment is desired must do so.

Just so. 

The fact that this group does not universally understand SGML's RS/RE rules 
and/or their application indicates that SGML fails on at least two of the three 
points above. XML should not follow SGML's lead here. Neither implementors nor 
authors can understand the rules.

David Durand's "treating the entire SGML input as a single record" has 
immediate, minimalist appeal to me. Line breaks would be whitespace and would 
always be treated as such. There would be no need to describe RS/RE (pseudo) 
characters or their associated rules - there wouldn't be any.

Measuring David's proposal against Lee's list show's that whitespace handling 
would be:
  * consistent & regular,
  * easy to explain, and
  * clearly and unambiguously defined.
  
What remains is sufficiency. Is this proposal sufficient to meet the needs of 
authors and implementors? If so than I believe we have an excellent solution to 
a rather nasty problem. Relax the conformace requirement and declare victory.

Bill