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Re: ERB decisions on A.17, B.9, and other questions

From: Gavin Nicol <gtn@ebt.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 1996 17:02:15 -0400
Message-Id: <199610232102.RAA03291@nathaniel.ebt>
To: lee@sq.com
CC: John_Lavagnino@brown.edu, w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org, U35395@UICVM.UIC.EDU
>Yes.  The whole system becomes completely unusable with just numbers,
>if you are working with anything outside the spec.

Lee is 100% correct here.  Unless you have some mechanism for
reolving that number to a *character*, you can't process it
in any meaningful manner (except parse it).

This was one of my objections to the BCTF approach expounded by
WG8: it emphasises the *codes*, not the *characters*, and the
*characters* are what most applications will be dealing with. 

We need SDATA, or typed entities, so that we can associate some 
processing with them based on type. For SDATA, that will generally 
mean resolving a name, or some other data, to a *character* and/or
to a glyph(image).

As we've already seen, there is a large number of cases where this
is needed:

   1) Family names in Taiwan
   2) Ancient Buddhist Texts (talk to the Buddhist Text Initiative
   3) Gaiji
   4) Scientific publications

there are many others.

From a practical viewpoint, there are many things that you can do once
you have type information for an entity (including ignore it). If you 
don't have the information, you can't do any of them. Isn't that one
of the great advantages of SGML?
Received on Wednesday, 23 October 1996 17:03:52 UTC

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