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

From: Charles F. Goldfarb <Charles@SGMLsource.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 03:36:58 GMT
To: gtn@ebt.com (Gavin Nicol)
Cc: streich@slb.com, tbray@textuality.com, w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <327b1ee9.23340266@mail.alink.net>
On Wed, 23 Oct 1996 15:30:25 -0400, gtn@ebt.com (Gavin Nicol) wrote:

>>By the way, I concur wholeheartedly with the opinions expressed by
>>David and Lee. There are plenty of times when I could predict that
>>the receiving system will not be able to render the character that I
>>want them to see. Given that, a reasonable description of the character
>>*could* suffice. Some meaningless number, would be just that--
>People other than David and Lee have this viewpoint. The problem
>above is what led me to the GCR and GGR ideas a couple of years ago.

Since you mention history, you might find it interesting that "the problem
above" is what caused me to create SDATA in the first place. It happened during
a phone conversation with Joan Knoerdel, who was creating the DTD for the AAP
(which eventually became ISO/IEC 12083). The character entity sets in the
standard were designed so that the replacement text would be a meaningfull
character name in the cases where a renderable system-specific string wasn't
provided in the entity declaration.

I wanted to make my views clear because I've been suggesting techniques to make
XML work, and be conforming to SGML, on both sides of this issue (and other
issues). I personally believe that a user should be able to see the name, or
description, of the character that the system couldn't render for him -- a
number alone is useless without access to the appropriate character set
standard. On the other hand, even if that name or description is in the DTD
rather than the instance, some piece of software should be able to find it and
give a useful error message.
Charles F. Goldfarb * Information Management Consulting * +1(408)867-5553
           13075 Paramount Drive * Saratoga CA 95070 * USA
  International Standards Editor * ISO 8879 SGML * ISO/IEC 10744 HyTime
 Prentice-Hall Series Editor * CFG Series on Open Information Management
Received on Thursday, 24 October 1996 23:36:46 UTC

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