Re: 5th edition is not a new edition; it's a major new version

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The question of the actual value of the substantive changes to the
name character inventory, first in XML 1.1 and now in the proposed 5th
edition of XML 1.0, has been extensively discussed elsewhere (see, for
instance, [1] [2]).  There is no doubt that the original designers of
XML intended it to be a major step forward in making the Web available
to users of _all_ languages, not just those that can be written with
ASCII, and this change is absolutely in line with that goal.

With regard to your process point, the XML Core WG considered
this for a long time before going the route we did.  We were strongly
influenced by the evident reluctance of the community to support XML
1.1, despite near-universal approval of its substance.  There's no
doubt making these changes is significant, but strictly speaking also
allowed by our own rules: the Process Document sets certain
requirements for a spec. to be published as a Proposed Edited
Recommendation, particularly as regards the kinds of changes it
involves and evidence of interoperability, and this change does in our
opinion (and of the W3C Director, in that he approved the publication
of the PER on this basis) satisfy those requirements.

The word 'erratum' is perhaps misleading in this context.  This is a
change, but an allowed change: the changes in XML 1.0 5th Edition fall
into class 3 from section 7.6.2 Classes of Changes to a Recommendation
[3], as they affect conformance without introducing new features.

As regards the Process requirement for implementation experience, the
XML Core WG understands that implementing this relaxation in XML 1.1
parsers has been technically straightforward: it is a matter of
replacing a rather large "permitted" table with a much smaller
"forbidden" table.  The interoperability of those parsers provided
preliminary necessary evidence that interoperable implementation of
the changes proposed in XML 1.0 5th edition will likewise be
straightforward.  More recent experience, detailed in the
implementation report [4], confirms this expectation: four parsers,
- From both vendor and open-source efforts, implement the changes and
interoperate with respect to the tests which have been added to the
XML Test Suite [5] to cover the new edition.

We have brought this forward because we believe the benefits outweigh
the costs, based on a number of efforts to sample the likely response.

Please let us know if you are satisfied with this response.


- -- 
       Henry S. Thompson, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
                         Half-time member of W3C Team
      10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
                Fax: (44) 131 651-1426, e-mail:
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Received on Friday, 3 October 2008 09:31:43 UTC