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Re: B.1 and B.2 results

From: David G. Durand <dgd@cs.bu.edu>
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 00:22:59 -0400
Message-Id: <v02130502ae91eb0c2556@[]>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
At 9:27 PM 10/21/96, Gavin Nicol wrote:
>>maximally self-revealing, we should probably use the character-length
>>determination hack I suggested, ratehr than put 8-bit characters at the
>>front of multibyte files.
>Nope. I would prefer to always have US-ASCII headers.

Well, the question that I have is whether the character length
determination trick is a show-stopper for you. I think that knowing that
might help people make up their minds, assuming anyone else is even
noticing this discussion. I like US-ASCII myself, from a programmer's point
of view, but I can see several factors that argue against it:

    + FFFE is already established in Unicode, so many multi-byte systems
will have text-editors that can deal with the initial FFFE.

    + Generic text-editing tools will almost certainly turn the user's view
of a US-ASCII header into garbage on multibyte systems, but would not turn
ISO character codes <127 into garbage.

    + Many people will want to edit XML with generic text-editors on their
systems in their native character codes.

    Given the foregoing, the loss of elegance might pay off in a real gain
in utility. An XML parser could even just cast the characters read into 8
bits to use a legacy HTTP header parser. So even the programmer isn't too

Notice that with a MIME-header we also get a convenient place to specify an
XML version, and anything else we might need.

I can agree with Gavin that catalogs are more elegant, but in some contexts
they may not be more convenient. And as Tim and Michael note, a header that
is integral is less likely to be lost...

   -- David

PS does anyone else have an opinion on this?

RE delenda est.
I am not a number. I am an undefined character.
David Durand              dgd@cs.bu.edu  \  david@dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/   \  Dynamic Diagrams
--------------------------------------------\  http://dynamicDiagrams.com/
MAPA: mapping for the WWW                    \__________________________
Received on Tuesday, 22 October 1996 00:18:20 UTC

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