W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 2000

RE: XHTML/XML comment

From: Christopher Luebcke <CLuebcke@Heur.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 10:56:36 -0800
Message-ID: <1D9BD1A66CA7D311B0F6009027B6C15301F316@MAIL>
To: "'www-html@w3.org'" <www-html@w3.org>
Thanks Arjun, Frank and Kent,
I wasn't thinking about i18n, which is the point, isn't it? Very
instructive. I wasn't complaining so much as I was curious; I also always
write in lowercase and tend to quote my attributes already, so I'm not
nearly as inflamed as some folks apparently are, nor do I plan to implement
XHTML by Thursday.
Thanks again,
Chris Luebcke

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-html-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:www-html-request@w3.org]On Behalf
> Of Arjun Ray
> Sent: Monday, January 31, 2000 10:15 AM
> To: www-html@w3.org
> Subject: RE: XHTML/XML comment
> On Mon, 31 Jan 2000, Christopher Luebcke wrote:
> > my question is why XML (and thus XHTML) was created as
> > case-sensitive in the first place (especially if neither SGML or
> > HTML share this characteristic).
> Short answer:  Unicode.
> There are scripts which don't have any case distinction at all; even
> among those that do, case equivalence is not a given (i.e. one form
> may exist but not the other); and the Unicode standard recommends that
> case substitution where needed should be to lowercase.  Interestingly
> enough, this recommendation is in direct contrast to SGML, where case
> substitution is to uppercase.
> (It's actually a mistake to characterize HTML as case-insensitive.
> The standard requires all such names to be folded to uppercase.) 
> The XML spec, having taken a hard line on internationalization from
> the beginning, couldn't keep SGML's case substitution rules in the
> face of Unicode's superior recommendation, and since case substitution
> *is* problematic in general, decided to eliminate it all together.
> Given that, the specific choice of lowercase wasn't necessarily
> arbitrary.  The weight of technical evidence points to that being the
> best choice.
> One thing to note, though.  If the W3C's protestations about SGML and
> XML are worth anything, then you're not obligated to switch, let alone
> stampede, to XHTML.  SGML is a lot about the continued viability of
> document and data formats.  Use the "older" standards if you must:
> they haven't gone away.
> Arjun
Received on Monday, 31 January 2000 13:53:03 UTC

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