Re: Feedback on the spec
At 01:49 PM 11/17/96 -0800, Tim Bray wrote:
>Three things. (a) The principle we voted on sounded reasonable. The
>language that was generated in the spec (after a *whole lot* of
>work) is messy, inelegant, and I think prone to misinterpretation.
>Much like 8879. Note the excellent and difficult question raised by
>Paul Grosso in respect of white space at text entity boundaries. I
>predict that things like this will keep coming up us a result of
>us having opened the Pandora's box of interfering with users' data.
We need to keep the concepts of "source" and "destination" separate. I would
be annoyed if my text editor changed the source of my SGML (or C++ or Java)
documents. But in none of those languages am I surprised or annoyed when the
language parser strips out token-delimiting whitespace:
^ indicates token separator
! indicates meaningful space
C++: cout << "Foo Bar" << endl ;
^ ^ ! ^ ^ ^
SGML/XML: <statement> <cout> <lshift> Foo Bar <lshift> <endl> </statement>
^ ^ ^ ! ^ ^ ^
These rules are not bizarre inventions from outer space. They follow common
encoding/programming language conventions. There is no "interfering with
I haven't yet seen Paul's post that questioned entity/record end handling.
>(b) having made the decision to reserve some attribute/element
>namespace, we only had to use it once. I think this is a signal
>that we're doing something wrong.
>(c) Because of our decision on unified attribute name space, no
>element to which you might want to apply -xml-space can take an
>enumerated-value attribute where the enumeration includes either
>"keep" or "collapse". The only solution is to change the
>attribute values to "-xml-keep" and "-xml-collapse".
I agree that the attribute thing seems suboptimal to me. Couldn't it be
replaced with a marked-section mechanism? By restricting the content of
those marked sections we could probably eliminate *all* occurances of
SGML-incompatibility until SGML is fixed.
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