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Re: CDATA sections in W3C XML Infoset

From: Francis Norton <francis@redrice.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 13:51:36 +0100
Message-ID: <3AC1DE58.EB0BAF44@redrice.com>
To: John Cowan <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>
CC: Richard Lanyon <rgl@decisionsoft.com>, xml-dev@lists.xml.org, www-xml-infoset-comments@w3.org

John Cowan wrote:
> Richard Lanyon scripsit:
> > Could someone explain to me why CDATA section start/end markers were
> > taken out of the W3C Infoset?
> Essentially because we (but I am NOT speaking officially for the Core WG
> here) don't think they carry any real information.  There is no difference
> between CDATA sections and careful use of &lt; and &amp;.

Beg to differ, sir.

Design goal 6 in the XML spec is:

"XML documents should be human-legible and reasonably clear."

True, there is no difference in *machine* semantics "between CDATA
sections and careful use of &lt; and &amp;" but there is a real
difference in human-legibility and clarity between the two, especially
if they contain content like JavaScript code.

We've all learnt to fear and loath the sight of CDATA sections being
used to output unbalanced markup, but I would like to suggest
respectfully that dropping the CDATA start and end markers out of the
infoset as a way of discouraging this practice is overkill.

Received on Wednesday, 28 March 2001 07:54:13 UTC

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