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Re: Clark's commentary

From: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 17:08:19 -0500
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <87sn9hhl0s.fsf@nwalsh.com>
/ Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com> was heard to say:
| The only loss that I think would be rally painful would be
| the ability to give names to character entities instead of 
| saying &#xbabe;.  The math people would be penalized.  But
| the simplicity gain would be immense.

James and I had several conversations on this topic at XML 2001. I've
been persuaded that the way out of this dilemma is to accept that
attributes should never be used for human readable text (as opposed to
tokens or other simple datatypes).

This limitation can be justified, I think, by the argument that
attribute values can't contain markup and I18N considerations always
require markup in human readable text (e.g, for BIDI or Rubi (Ruby?)).

If you restrict human readable text to element content, then you can
use empty elements to replace named character entities.

<para>An &eacute; has an accent.</para>

could be written:

<para>An <e:eacute/> has an accent.</para>

or even

<para>An <e:char name="latin small letter e with acute"/> has an accent.</para>

Assuming some in-scope namespace declaration for "e:" of course :-)

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM   | It is not enough to be exceptionally mad,
XML Standards Engineer | licentious and fanatical in order to win a
XML Technology Center  | great reputation; it is still necessary to
Sun Microsystems, Inc. | arrive on the scene at the right
                       | time.--Voltaire
Received on Monday, 7 January 2002 17:10:18 UTC

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