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Re: those predeclared entity refs



Jon Bosak wrote:
> | but continue to use the < and > conventions because they are so
> | universal?
> 
> Depends on what we decide.

If < and & are so non-intuitive and hard to learn, people will
replace them in their own language and no harm will have been done. They
will be universal only in that the are universally supported by
software.
 
> | Did Unicode actually take off?
> 
> If it didn't, we're toast.  The XML character set is based on the
> assumption that Unicode takes off.

XML explicitly allows other encodings, as long as the characters you
need exist somewhere in Unicode. Unicode doesn't need to take off for
XML to succeed, though character entity handling would be pretty hit and
miss if it doesn't. But that's no worse than the current situation with
both HTML and SGML, and those seem to be successful. Better not to tie
XML's success to the single issue of charcter entity handling.
 
> | Are programmers the only people who see "raw" XML code?
> 
> No.  But with few exceptions they will be the only ones who need to
> put in a character entity by hand.

So if in five years only programmers put in character entities by hand,
who cares what they are called underneath? Right now the Web is
dominated by English, English speakers will dominate the software teams
that decide whether to implement XML or not. We don't need to give Marc
Andreeson reasons to ignore XML: "too hard < doesn't even do what you
would expect it to."

 Paul Prescod



References: