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Re: Test case regarding XML Literals and octets

From: pat hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2003 08:56:56 -0500
Message-Id: <p06001a67bb501f299895@[]>
To: Benja Fallenstein <b.fallenstein@gmx.de>
Cc: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>, "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>, www-rdf-comments@w3.org, w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org, msm@w3.org, w3c-rdf-core-wg@w3.org
>pat hayes wrote:
>>>I think "XML in exclusive canonical form" can indeed only be taken 
>>>as octets; an abstract XML infoset certainly cannot be in 
>>>canonical form.
>>>I believe that it is a bad idea to treat XML literals like this, though.
>>Surely that is a matter to take up with the folk who wrote the XML 
>>specification? It is not our task to re-write a normative 
>>specification document written by another working group.
>Why is it the job of the folk who wrote the XML specification to 
>decide how XML literals are treated?

See below.

>  AFAIK, XML literals are defined in a specification written by RDFCore.
>(Sorry to use split-hair logic, but it seems to me that you're doing 
>the same. ;-) )
>As I have quoted in the part of my mail that you cut, the Exclusive 
>Canonical XML spec states that Exclusive Canonical XML is a 
>serialization of an XPath node-set. So an exclusive canonical XML 
>document denotes an XPath node-set, not an octet sequence.
>It is your choice that XML literals denote Exclusive Canonical XML 
>(as opposed to, XPath node-sets, or XML infosets, neither of which 
>are octets) and in my opinion that's a bad choice. You can disagree, 
>but I don't think you can claim that the choice isn't yours.

That choice is ours, indeed, but I do not think it was a bad choice. 
There are good reasons for choosing exclusive canonicalization, to do 
precisely with the issues that we have already dealt with at length 
concerning inheritance of surrounding XML context.  The XML exclusive 
canonicalization document itself describes the purpose of exclusive 
canonicalization in these terms, as being the reason for introducing 
it in the first place.
(section 1.2 Applications:
"The applications of Exclusive XML Canonicalization are very similar 
to those for Canonical XML [ XML-C14N ]. However, exclusive 
canonicalization, or equivalent means of excluding most XML context, 
is necessary for signature applications where the XML context of 
signed XML will change ")
I do not see that we are being in the slightest degree irresponsible 
or inappropriate in using a notion defined in the XML specifications 
for a purpose for which it was apparently explicitly so defined. The 
fact that the document refers the definition of this form of 
canonicalization to octets rather than nodesets (which does seem odd, 
now you point it out) is largely irrelevant to us: we just read what 
is written there and follow it. Take the matter up with the authors 
of that document.

Pat Hayes

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Received on Friday, 1 August 2003 09:56:59 UTC

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