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   RE: Arnaud Le Taillanter on whitespace

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  • From: David Durand <dgd@cs.bu.edu>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 20:33:24 -0400 (EDT)

  I'll be very brief. There's little chance that there will be any new
whitespace ignoring rules in XML. Everyone involved has read (and
written!) literally hundreds of messages on the topic. Every variation
you discussed has been gone over and they all were either:
  1. unworkably complex (like the current SGML rules, whihc few
remember and even fewer remember correctly)).
  2. Not compatible with SGML, or unworkably ugly like the proposal to
quote all literal text.
  3. Failed to work without a DTD. This is the kicker, and it's
required by XML because you don't always have the DTD, and different
results in the has-DTD/doesn't-have-DTD cases are unacceptable.

The recent change (to normalize all linends) fills the one hole the
previous proposal had -- because it was nearly certain that some
processes would blindly change CRLF and their ilk anyhow.

My advice: don't waste you're bytes complaining about this -- we've
heard it _all_ before -- and the solution that works best is to leave
it to the application.

  XML-SPACE doesn't affect this -- it's in the lines of a "standard
hint" that will allow applications like web-crawlers and full-text
indexers to make more sense out of markup according to DTDs about
which they lack special knowledge. So it doesn't contradict the "pass
all space" philosophy, but rather supplements it, to enhance document

   -- David

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  • Follow-Ups:
    • Re: whitespace
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