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Re: those predeclared entity refs



|   
|   [John Lavagnino:]
|   
|   | I'd suggest following Jon's proposal to drop the five predeclared
|   | entity references, but also to try and work declarations of these (and
|   | perhaps others) into lots of sample XML files as they're made
|   | available, to condition the world into considering those a "standard"
|   | part of an XML DTD.  In practice, that sort of thing is almost as good
|   | as having it as part of the language definition.
|   
|   [Jon Bosak:]
|
|   Why bother?  If "&" is a magic string (as Paul Prescod has pointed
|   out, and I agree with him), why urge it over the equally magic string
|   "&"?  If I don't speak English, the second is as easy to remember
|   as the first, and it has the very significant advantage that I can
|   find out what it means my looking it up in the Unicode table.

Well, then GIs are magic strings too.  I'd go along with your line on
this to the extent of saying that an example not in English certainly
ought to use entity names that are appropriate for the language of the
example.  On Unicode numbers, I can only say that if I'm going to have
to look at the encoding in this way, rather than having it obligingly
hidden by an editor, I'd greatly prefer to see something like LATIN
SMALL LETTER A WITH MACRON, or even ā, rather than &U-0101;.  I
think magic names with some family resemblance to a description of the
character will be, for most people, easier to recognize or remember
than the magic numbers of the Unicode scheme.  And if you're going to
show XML documents to people and try to talk them into using the
scheme, then making it possible for them to grasp what's going on
without needing to read the documentation first is a strong persuasive
strategy.

John Lavagnino


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