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Infoset 2000.12.20 & "null"

From: Richard A. O'Keefe <ok@atlas.otago.ac.nz>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 12:32:16 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <200102192332.MAA09188@atlas.otago.ac.nz>
To: www-xml-infoset-comments@w3.org
My comments relate to the
version of the XML Information Set specification.

This document frequently uses the term "null", without, as far as
I can see, defining it.  (I have checked each occurrence of 'null'
in the document.)  The XML 1.0 specification does not define this
term either.  (In fact it doesn't even contain it.)

Many people in the computing profession use "null" to mean "empty",
so that a null [base URI] would be a [base URI] that exists but
contains no characters.

Many people in the computer profession use "null" to mean "non-existent",
so that an information item having a null [base URI] would be an
information item for which the [base URI] is completely missing.
This usage is consistent with SQL2 as the other is not.

The distinction has a direct model in Java, where a null String is a
void reference, while an empty String is a non-void reference to a
string object containing no characters.

Much confusion will be avoided if Infoset either switches to a different
term (such as "empty") or explicitly defines null in section 1.
Received on Monday, 19 February 2001 18:32:26 UTC

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