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Fw: XML 1.0 and XML 1.1

From: John Boyer <boyerj@ca.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 09:50:13 -0700
To: Forms WG (new) <public-forms@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF0FD7F4DA.4BBDEC86-ON88257383.005C5EEA-88257383.005C8A96@ca.ibm.com>
The XML core group is considering a potentially huge change.

I urge you to consider the content below and send comments to Paul and 

The following is an additional public link to the original announcement:

John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
STSM: Lotus Forms Architect and Researcher
Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Victoria Software Lab
E-Mail: boyerj@ca.ibm.com 

Blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/JohnBoyer

----- Forwarded by John Boyer/CanWest/IBM on 10/29/2007 09:48 AM -----

"Grosso, Paul" <pgrosso@ptc.com> 
Sent by: chairs-request@w3.org
10/29/2007 08:20 AM


XML 1.0 and XML 1.1


Please feel free to forward this email to your WGs.  (Public W3C
mailing lists are fine--this is not intended to be member-only.)



Since XML 1.1 became a W3C Recommendation in August 2006, 
there has been a substantial uptake of it as a peer of XML 1.0 
in new and ongoing W3C work.  This is appropriate, as XML 1.1 
was explicitly not designed to replace XML 1.0, but to supplement 
it for the benefit of various groups against which XML 1.0 had 
unjustly, but unintentionally, discriminated.

However, there are very few XML 1.1 documents in the wild. 
The XML Core WG believes this to be the result of a vicious cycle, 
in which widely distributed XML parsers do not support 1.1 because 
the parser authors believe that few document authors will use it.
This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, as those who would 
benefit from XML 1.1 are rightfully concerned that documents 
written in it will not be widely acceptable.

After considering various other ideas, the XML Core WG wants 
to suggest the possibility of changing XML 1.0 to relax the 
restrictions on element and attribute names thereby providing 
in XML 1.0 the major end user benefit currently achievable 
only by using XML 1.1.

To quote the XML 1.1 Recommendation:

 The W3C's XML 1.0 Recommendation was first issued in 1998,
 and despite the issuance of many errata culminating in a
 Third Edition of 2004, has remained (by intention) unchanged
 with respect to what is well-formed XML and what is not.
 This stability has been extremely useful for interoperability.
 However, the Unicode Standard on which XML 1.0 relies for
 character specifications has not remained static, evolving from
 version 2.0 to version 4.0 and beyond.          Characters not present
 in Unicode 2.0 may already be used in XML 1.0 character data.
 However, they are not allowed in XML names such as element type
 names, attribute names, enumerated attribute values, processing
 instruction targets, and so on.  In addition, some characters
 that should have been permitted in XML names were not, due to
 oversights and inconsistencies in Unicode 2.0.

 The overall philosophy of names has changed since XML 1.0.
 Whereas XML 1.0 provided a rigid definition of names, wherein
 everything that was not permitted was forbidden, XML 1.1 names are
 designed so that everything that is not forbidden (for a specific
 reason) is permitted.  Since Unicode will continue to grow past
 version 4.0, further changes to XML can be avoided by allowing
 almost any character, including those not yet assigned, in names.

Since then, Unicode has expanded further to reach 5.0, and it is 
nowhere near complete with respect to the world's minority languages 
and writing systems.  If XML 1.0 relaxed the restrictions on element 
and attribute names, those who preferred to retain the Appendix B 
constraints in their documents would be free to do so, but those 
who wish to use element and attribute names in languages normally 
written in any of the Ethiopic, Cherokee, Canadian Syllabics, Khmer, 
Mongolian, Yi, Philippine, New Tai Lue, Buginese, Syloti Nagri, 
N'Ko, and Tifinagh scripts will be able to do so, as will users 
of minority languages whose scripts appeared in Unicode 2.0 but 
were lacking essential letters for writing those languages.

Of course, older parsers will still reject such documents, but 
there will be no need for a strict XML 1.0/1.1 dichotomy.  The 
XML Core WG has heard evidence tending to indicate that implementing 
such a relaxation would be technically straightforward in essentially 
all XML parsers:  it is a matter of replacing a rather large 
"permitted" table with a much smaller "forbidden" table.

The XML Core WG assumes that if such an erratum were to be passed 
into XML 1.0, the XML 1.1 Recommendation would eventually be deprecated 
by the W3C.

Comments on all aspects of this possibility are earnestly solicited;
please send them to www-xml-blueberry-comments@w3.org (publicly

Paul Grosso
for the XML Core WG
Received on Monday, 29 October 2007 16:51:09 UTC

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