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Re: [XML 1.1] Allowable element names

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 09:27:53 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>
cc: WAI Cross-group list <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0206200917560.11465-100000@tux.w3.org>

I like the permissive approach. There are a couple of things I didn't want to
allow - control characters, and combining accent characters where they could
be normalised. In other words, it should be OK to have a "c-cedilla"
as a single character, but I wouldn't like to have c followed by a character
that adds a cedilla to the previous character, nor would I like to have a
line-feed character allowed.

I would also like to ensure that the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines
explicitly ensure that there is a way of presenting the required information
so the user can deal with it - I think that this is explicitly covered by
checkpoint 7.3 [1], with implicit support from 7.1 [2] and 7.2 [3]

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/REC-ATAG10-20000203/#check-edit-elements
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/REC-ATAG10-20000203/#check-use-system-conventions
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/REC-ATAG10-20000203/#check-independent-styles

(All references to Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
Recommendation)

cheers

Charles

On Thu, 20 Jun 2002, Ian B. Jacobs wrote:


  My reaction to this is that:

    a) Allow anything
    b) Suggest restraint and provide the authoring, I18N, and
       accessibility reasons.
    c) Don't require a schema for every XML usage.

  I would like few rules and lots of persuasive rationale.

    - Ian

  Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
  > XML 1.1 is in last call awaiting comments on or before 28 June:
  > http://www.w3.org/TR/xml11/
  >
  > A question has been raised about whether there should be restrictions on what
  > characters can be used in element and attribute names, and if so what kind of
  > restrictions.
  >
  > The issue comes about particularly when people are going to edit XML. If they
  > can't determine the name of an element or an attribute (for example if it is
  > a symbolic character or collection of them, rather than a recognisable word)
  > then they will not be able to work with the XML language. For example, screen
  > readers do not necessarily have a capacity to present math characters or
  > "dingbats" - symbols like smiley faces that exist in unicode as characters,
  > and music notes may not be meaningful to people who are Deaf. Likewise, it is
  > important for international usage that arabic or chinese or thai characters
  > can be used by people whose natural writing script is one of those (and so on
  > for other scripts).
  >
  > Some thoughts have been suggested. Broadly there are a couple of different
  > approaches, although there are also intermediary possibilities.
  >
  > 1. There should be restrictions that require names to come from a single
  > range of characters used in a single language, and should be based on
  > meaningful words (this could be enforced by requiring a dictionary lookup).
  >
  > 2. It is fine to use any characters, since authoring tools can allow the
  > editor to assign their own version of the name for local use - i.e. doing a
  > search and replace before beginning, or whenever an unusable name is
  > encountered, and then convert those back to the required characters on
  > saving.
  >
  > A possible intermediate position is that an XML language must have a schema
  > which provides an annotation that can be used as an alternative name, or
  > documentation so the authorr can understand the purpose of the element and
  > provide a name useful to them.
  >
  > This has implications for and relationship to the XML accessibility
  > Guidelines - http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/XML - as well as for authoring tool
  > accessibility guidelines and internationalisation.
  >
  > The PFWG has decided to continue its discussions in public, to enable the
  > public working groups to easily join the discussion and see the issues.
  >
  > Cheers
  >
  > Charles McCN
  >





-- 
Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4 92 38 78 22
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Thursday, 20 June 2002 09:28:14 UTC

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