W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > May 2003

Re: XHTML2 MIME type

From: Karl Ove Hufthammer <karl@huftis.org>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 23:22:29 +0200
Message-Id: <n2m-g.Xns937BEDC6ED420huftis@ID-99504.news.dfncis.de>
To: www-html@w3.org

John Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu> wrote in

>> And, if you *don't* regularly use the alpha character, you
>> would have to look it up anyway.
> That's patently untrue. The named entities follow a (nearly)
> logical pattern. I regularly use only a handful of the named
> entities, but I can use a great many without looking them up,
> and without having them memorized. I know exactly zero numeric
> entities without looking them up.

That's because you're just used the using the entities. I *can*
see that character entities are somewhat useful, and are easy to
remember (or guess the names of), but I don't think this is a
*compelling* reason to keep them in XHTML 2 (and entities are
*not* useful if browsers don't support them, as seems to be the
case now, at least for Opera).

And remember that character entities only cover a tiny subset (a
few hundreds?) of the characters available in Unicode. There are
almost 100,000 thousands characters in the latest version of ISO
10646 (IIRC) which are *not* accessible using character entities.
The existing character entities doesn't really *solve* the problem
of entering characters not directly available on the user's
keyboard. Only authoring tools can solve this.

And there are many ways authoring tools can, and have been
supporting non-ASCII characters, e.g. 'insert symbol' dialogues or
drop-down menus. If one insist on using tools *not suited for*
editing XML documents, one can only blame the tools, not the XML

Karl Ove Hufthammer
Received on Wednesday, 14 May 2003 17:22:57 UTC

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