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   Re: whitespace

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  • From: Arnaud Le Taillanter <arnaud21@club-internet.fr>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 18:22:35 +0200

David Durand wrote:

>   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.

Inside the XML WG mailing list the WS issue was surely
extensively discussed, but I don't have access to
the archive of this discussion. I know it's already
a favor that the XML draft is made public (all drafts
and standards of W3C are public, I think this
helps) and that XML WG members are participating
in the xml-dev mailing list (they could avoid it).
Well, I ask for another favor: could you please make the
discussion about WS that led to the WG decision
available on line? After such a reading, everybody
could become convinced of the appropriate nature
of the WG decision. Please!

> 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.

If SGML rules concerning WS are to be discarded, any
other rule adopted is incompatible, including the draft rule.

>   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.

I agree. The tree structures must be exactly the same in either case.
Some constraint regarding WS is necessary on the way to input an
XML text I assume.

> 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.

I am sure I will get
convinced when I read the WG discussion :-)
Or I fear the WG members will have to hear it all (and more)
again :-))

> Aside:
>   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
> re-use.
>    -- David


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