W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-international@w3.org > April to June 2001

Re: XML Blueberry Requirements

From: Mark Davis <mark@macchiato.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 09:43:25 -0700
Message-ID: <009901c0fb3a$7534bf80$0c680b41@c1340594a>
To: <unicode@unicode.org>, <unicore@unicode.org>, <www-international@w3.org>, "Elliotte Rusty Harold" <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Let's stick to the issue, and not go off on some wild anti-corporation

While not obvious to people concentrating on the client side, EBCDIC systems
still process a large amount of the world's data. And clearly from the
specification, XML was intended to be useful on those systems as well.
EBCDIC systems use NEL as a line terminator. This is not a proprietary
usage: it is according to ISO 6429 (and ECMA 48). However, in XML these are
not currently treated as end-of-lines in 2.11 End-of-Line Handling.

Based on the tone and the wording, I'm guessing that you are a Linux user
(either that or Mac). Suppose that the tables were turned: that XML did not
recognize an isolated LF as an end-of-line, but did recognize NEL. On an OS,
the choice of end-of-line is pretty firmly ensconced in all of the
development tools, text editors, scripts, etc. Imagine that you couldn't not
open any XML files on your system, process them with common tools, etc.
Handling XML under those circumstances would be a significant for everyone
working on all Linux and Unix platforms.

Simply saying that all of the these programs, and much of the OS, simply
needs everyone to "fix their own broken software" is hardly productive.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Elliotte Rusty Harold" <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
To: <unicode@unicode.org>; <unicore@unicode.org>; <www-international@w3.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2001 06:40
Subject: Re: XML Blueberry Requirements

> At 9:35 PM +0100 6/20/01, Misha.Wolf@reuters.com wrote:
> >| In addition, XML 1.0 attempts to adapt to the line-end conventions of
> >| various modern operating systems, but discriminates against the
> >| convention used on IBM and IBM-compatible mainframes. XML 1.0 documents
> >| generated on mainframes must either violate the local line-end
> >| conventions, or employ otherwise unnecessary translation phases before
> >| and after XML parsing and generation.
> >|
> The concern with respect to IBM is that one of the world's largest
> corporations, with thousands of patents, legions of programmers,
> billions of dollars in revenue, and resources pouring out of every
> orifice is somehow unable to handle documents where lines end with
> carriage returns and line feeds, as documents do on every non-IBM system
> the planet.
> The only reason there's a problem here at all is because IBM
> tried to go it alone as a monopoly and set standards by fiat for years
> rather than working with the rest of the industry. Consequently their
> mainframe character sets don't really interoperate well with everybody
> else's character sets. In XML this arises as a problem with line endings
> when someone edits an XML document with an IBM mainframe text editor.
> IBM mostly grew out of their anti-competitive monopolistic tendencies
> over the last thirty years (with a large dose of assistance from the
> U.S. government). However, there are still some legacy issues relating
> to their attempt to dictate standards to the rest of the industry, and
> this is one of them. Now rather than fixing their own broken mainframe
> text editing software, they want everyone else on the planet to change
> their software so IBM doesn't have to. (If this reminds anybody of the
> current mess with Oracle and UTF-8, you're not alone.)
> This proposal was laughed out of the W3C a few months ago when IBM
> made it, or at least it seemed to be. However, it's now risen from
> the dead as part of XML
> Blueberry; but it doesn't make any more sense now than it did then; and
> it still deserves to be laughed off the table with whooping cries of
> derision.
> --
> +-----------------------+------------------------+-------------------+
> | Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
> +-----------------------+------------------------+-------------------+
> |                  The XML Bible (IDG Books, 1999)                   |
> |              http://metalab.unc.edu/xml/books/bible/               |
> |   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764532367/cafeaulaitA/   |
> +----------------------------------+---------------------------------+
> |  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://metalab.unc.edu/javafaq/ |
> |  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://metalab.unc.edu/xml/     |
> +----------------------------------+---------------------------------+
Received on Friday, 22 June 2001 12:42:46 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 21 September 2016 22:37:20 UTC