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Re: Proposed revision of CSS2.1 description of backslash escapes

From: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 17:47:12 +0200
To: Zack Weinberg <zweinberg@mozilla.com>
Cc: W3C Emailing list for WWW Style <www-style@w3.org>, L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>, fantasai <fantasai@inkedblade.net>
Message-Id: <201008041747.13157.bert@w3.org>
On Thursday 15 July 2010 21:49:38 Zack Weinberg wrote:

> I'd be okay with a much smaller patch.  I didn't like my previous
> attempts to just insert the new normative requirements without also
> revising the whole section, but here's another go at it:
>
>   * Replace "indicates three types of character escapes" with "may
>     indicate one of three types of character escape.  Inside a CSS
>     comment, a backslash has no special meaning, and if a backslash
>     is immediately followed by the end of the style sheet, it also has
>     no special meaning."
>
>   * Append "Outside a string, a backslash followed by a newline has
>     no special meaning." to the paragraph beginning "First, inside a
>     string".
>
>   * Delete "Except within CSS comments" from the paragraph beginning
>     "Second, it cancels".
>
>   * Delete ", where allowed," from the note at the bottom of the
>     section.

So far so good, but...

>   * Append this text to the first paragraph of the note at the bottom
>     of the section: "When a backslash has 'no special meaning', it is
>     tokenized like any other punctuation character without special
>     meaning: as part of a comment, part of a string, or as a DELIM,
>     based on the context."

... this appears to put a normative statement (viz., the definition 
of "no special meaning") inside a note.

So I wonder if the "no special meaning" phrase can be avoided. How about 
this (which is otherwise the same as your list above):

   * Replace "indicates three types of character escapes" with "may
     indicate one of three types of character escape. Inside a CSS
     comment, a backslash stands for itself, and if a backslash
     is immediately followed by the end of the style sheet, it also
     stands for itself (i.e., a DELIM token)."

   * Append "Outside a string, a backslash followed by a newline stands
     for itself (i.e., a DELIM followed by a newline)." to the paragraph
     beginning "First, inside a string".

   * Delete "Except within CSS comments" from the paragraph beginning
     "Second, it cancels".

   * Delete ", where allowed," from the note at the bottom of the
     section.


>   * Possibly change "must itself either be escaped or doubled" to
>     "must be doubled", but this is a nitpick on a non-normative aside.

I'm fine with that change, too.



Bert
-- 
  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/people/bos                               W3C/ERCIM
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 (0)4 92 38 76 92            06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Wednesday, 4 August 2010 15:47:45 GMT

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