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Re: XHTML/XML comment

From: Murray Altheim <altheim@eng.sun.com>
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2000 13:23:41 -0800
Message-ID: <38974EDD.55A66430@eng.sun.com>
CC: "'www-html@w3.org'" <www-html@w3.org>
Christopher Luebcke wrote:
> rev-bob@gotc.com wrote:
> >> I just printed the XHTML 1.0 document and an floored by the
> >> following:
> >>
> >>    4.2 Element and attribute names must be in lower case.
> >
> > XML is case-sensitive; as a reformulation of HTML in XML syntax, XHTML
> > must be case-sensitive as well.
> This was probably answered in the development of XML (and I'd guess you
> could trace it back to SGML, of which I know nothing) but since we're on the
> subject, why is it case sensitive? I can't imagine (well, I can but I don't
> want to) that there is any intention of adding new tags to the XHTML
> recommendation that have the same name but different case than existing
> ones; nor can I see the creation of XML DTDs that contain same-named tags of
> different case. I'm sure I'm just lacking background on this, but could
> somebody summarize what the reason behind this minor hindrance is? Thanks.

I've heard this question and the arguments for several years, and the
simplest answer is to look at the anglo-centrism of the question itself.
In using Unicode as the basis of XML (probably the only way to provide
internationalization), we are provided with a different world than ASCII.
Buy, borrow, or steal a copy of the Unicode standard, pore through it
for a few minutes and you'll discover something: there are other scripts
than simply roman. And given that many or most of these scripts don't
differentiate or have a very different way of representing case, it 
becomes fairly obvious that XML implementations would need to be quite a
bit more complicated to handle case mapping correctly, if case mapping
can even be done correctly in a language-independent way.

I wish people could find something more interesting to whine about, like
world hunger or something. Typing <b> instead of <B> is really not worth
getting upset about. For those who do, perhaps getting a life (or some
counseling) would be a good idea.


Murray Altheim, SGML Grease Monkey         <mailto:altheim&#64;eng.sun.com>
Member of Technical Staff, Tools Development & Support
Sun Microsystems, 901 San Antonio Rd., UMPK17-102, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4900

   the honey bee is sad and cross and wicked as a weasel
   and when she perches on you boss she leaves a little measle -- archy
Received on Tuesday, 1 February 2000 16:22:32 UTC

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