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RE: IDs - make them case sensitive

From: Murray Altheim <altheim@mehitabel.Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 19:45:40 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199706280245.TAA14714@mehitabel.eng.sun.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Andrew Layman <andrewl@microsoft.com> writes:
> Lauren and Tim have some good points regarding IDs.  It is a benefit if
> an id can easily map between an element and either a real world entity
> or an object in another database system.  Unless there is some bad
> consequence to permitting a freer use of characters, relaxing the
> restrictions just seems to simplify document construction and
> processing.

Well, the first thing that comes to mind would be that XML documents using
IDs not beginning with a name start character would not work in existing
SGML systems, and my understanding of the RCS is that it's not possible to
modify what constitutes a valid name start character to allow digits. This
would simply make XML documents and systems that create them incompatible
with SGML. I certainly stand to be corrected, but it seems pretty explicit
in 8879.

I don't see the measurable benefit gained in comparison to the cost in
lack of compatibility. If one is referring to field 12, the difference
between <FOO ID="f12"> and <FOO ID="12"> is hardly consequential in terms
of processing. One can even use the initial character to denote information
about the id, such as 'r' for record and 'f' for field, etc. Since you can
use MiscName as name characters you could always define an ID as 'f.12',
'f-12', etc.


Murray Altheim, SGML Grease Monkey                  <altheim[@]eng.sun.com>
Member of Technical Staff, Tools Development & Support
Sun Microsystems, 2550 Garcia Ave., MS UMPK17-102, Menlo Park, CA 94043 USA
         "Give a monkey the tools and he'll build a typewriter."
Received on Friday, 27 June 1997 22:58:47 UTC

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