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Re: newline handling with xml:space="default"

From: Jon Ferraiolo <jon.ferraiolo@adobe.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 17:43:54 -0700
To: bulia byak <buliabyak@gmail.com>, www-svg@w3.org
Message-id: <>

The white space handling rules in SVG 1.0/1.1/1.2 were based on some degree 
of sound reasoning, some degree of unsound reasoning, and some degree of 
compromise with the internationalization team at the W3C. I won't attempt 
to say what things fall into which category. It is what it is, for better 
or worse.

xml:space="default" was meant to allow for HTML-style white space behavior 
where auto-magical things happen such as multiple consecutive white space 
characters getting consolidated into a single white space character. I 
think you understand this goal.

The newline removal "feature" was to some degree a compromise for 
internationalization reasons. The thinking (for better or worse) is that 
certain scripts such as Japanese do not have space characters such as you 
find in European languages. But you sometimes want to break long strings of 
Japanese text into multiple lines. For these reasons, the rule was adopted 
that newline characters are just dropped so that long strings of Japanese 
text (or other scripts) would not get erroneous space  characters.

For better or worse, that's how the standard was approved in 2001, and 
there is a lot of software out there which has implemented these rules.

My personal opinion is that SVG's approach to white space handling is 
poorly designed and should be fixed at some point when a good opportunity 
comes up for making such changes. However, I do not think that SVG 1.2 is 
the appropriate time because the existing standard isn't broken, just 
suboptimally designed. Perhaps it will be a good time to make a change in 
this area when the W3C makes further progress integrating its languages via 
its Compound Documents activities.


At 07:35 AM 4/24/2005, bulia byak wrote:

>Both 1.1 and 1.2 Mobile draft state:
>   When xml:space="default", the SVG user agent will do the following
>using a copy of the original character data content. First, it will
>remove all newline characters.
>Can someone please explain the rationale of the requirement to remove
>all newlines, as opposed to (much more natural) converting them to
>spaces?  I think this is very counterintuitive.
>bulia byak
>Inkscape. Draw Freely.
Received on Monday, 25 April 2005 13:11:39 UTC

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