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Re: SDATA, again

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 13:31:48 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
At 01:47 PM 12/9/96 -0900, W. Eliot Kimber wrote:
>I believe our original reasoning against SDATA was as follows:

Eliot is correct.  However, the ERB did take up SDATA once again, in
response to the high level of concern in the WG; I'm not sure Eliot
was at that meeting.  At that time our thinking was along the lines of:

 - there are lots of useful things that people want to use that are
   not in 10646, and
 - if you want to use such a character, or your particular display
   machinery doesn't support some character for any reason, if all you
   have is a number, there's not much you can do; an ancillary string
   might well support table lookup, or at the very least enable a
   coherent error message, so
 - people use SDATA to provide a string to help out with this, but
 - this was not what SDATA was meant for, says Charles among others, and
 - the syntax of said strings, and the manner of their implementation, is 
   wildly different from vendor to vendor and from app to app, and 
 - James pointed out that if what you really need is a string
   associated with a particular character, then there should be a facility
   for this, e.g. an attributed character reference, rather than 
   kludging our way through with SDATA, and furthermore
 - we really didn't have time in the V1.0 timeframe to figure out what
   the right solution is, and finally
 - XML was already getting too big.

So we [nearly unanimously, as I recall] decided to leave this problem
unsolved in V1.0.  Sorry.

Cheers, Tim Bray
tbray@textuality.com http://www.textuality.com/ +1-604-488-1167
Received on Monday, 9 December 1996 16:37:10 UTC

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