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Re: XHTML2 MIME type

From: Philip TAYLOR [PC336/H-XP] <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 11:47:47 +0100
Message-ID: <3EC21ED3.49448839@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: "www-html@w3.org" <www-html@w3.org>

Karl Ove Hufthammer wrote:

[snip]

> If you *regularly* use the alpha character, it's ~no more
> difficult to remember &#945; than &alpha;[1].

From which proof-by-induction would lead to the assertion
that if one "*regularly* use[s]" /many/ special characters,
it would be "no more difficult to remember" [their hex
codes] than [their names].  But experience suggests
exactly the opposite : as the number of names grows,
the ability to remember numeric equivalents diminishes,
whence the need for the DNS, personal telephone directories,
e-mail address books and so forth.  To be honest, I can
see no reason whatsoever for eliminating the convenience
of a meaningful name for regularly used special characters :
after all, no-one is suggesting that XHTML should use
<1>...</1><2>...</2><3>...</3> rather than the current
(and infinitely more convenient) set of named tags.

> And, if you *don't* regularly use the alpha character, you would
> have to look it up anyway.

Not if naming is consistent; if I can remember that majuscule
alpha is &Alpha; and minuscule alpha is &alpha;, I can immediately
infer the shortrefs for all Greek characters.  If I can't, then
the system is flawed (as is plain TeX, which fails to give meaninful
names to certain Greek majuscules on the spurious basis that they
are visually identical to certain Roman upper-case letters).

Philip Taylor, RHBNC
Received on Wednesday, 14 May 2003 06:46:55 GMT

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