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Re: Clark's commentary

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 07 Jan 2002 17:21:55 -0600
To: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-Id: <1010445716.9636.30.camel@dirk>
On Mon, 2002-01-07 at 16:08, Norman Walsh wrote:
> / 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>

I used the idiom <e:emdash>---</e:emdash> in some stuff I was
hacking a while ago... i.e. put the fallback/alt inside the
element for folks that don't grok.

Meanwhile, I brought up this <e:eacute/> idea up in the
context of the MathML review of XML schema, and somebody
objected on the grounds that fulltext search tools
don't work that way.

By they way... I'm really, really sorry I didn't get
rid of entities back in '91/92 when I first had
the chance. We could be writing
today in stead of
if I had done just a little bit more homework.

  From: Dan Connolly (connolly@convex.com)
  Subject: hiding <, >, and &
  Newsgroups: comp.text.sgml
  Date: 1992-12-09 18:16:45 PST 

Hmm... some mnemonic for eacute and friends was
probably critical to the deployment of HTML even
back then... I wonder if we could have deployed
<eacute> back then.

p.s. I find that processing instructions are Mostly Harmless.
If you look at them as funny-looking comments, they're
no more difficult to specify, code for, etc.; I agree
with Tim Bray that the cost of getting rid of them is
higher than the cost of keeping them, at this point.

Hmm... is this the group where we get to re-design
XML? Whee! 1/2 :-)

> Assuming some in-scope namespace declaration for "e:" of course :-)
>                                         Be seeing you,
>                                           norm

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Monday, 7 January 2002 18:21:53 UTC

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