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A4: XML's use of SHORTTAG?



On 9 October 1996, the ERB will vote to decide the following question.
A non-binding preliminary vote indicates the ERB is now leaning to Yes.

A.4 XML will make only partial use of the SHORTTAG feature:
    - no minimized start-tags or, probably, end-tags (7.4, 7.5)
    - no omission of attribute name and value indicator (7.9.1.2)
But
    - possible use of empty end-tag </> (7.5) (to be decided separately)
    - omission of attribute-value specification will be legal for
      attributes not declared REQUIRED (7.9) (applies only when
      DTD is supplied and used)

The final point, on omitted attribute-value specifications, raises the
general question of how XML systems will behave when no DTD, or a
partial DTD, is provided -- if such omitted or partial DTDs are allowed.
It also raises the question of providing a way for a document to signal
that its DTD can be skipped without loss of information (e.g. because it
has no default attribute values, or no empty elements, etc.).  These
questions are to be discussed and decided separately.