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   Re: Scripting and XML

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  • From: Toby Speight <tms@ansa.co.uk>
  • To: "XML developers' list" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: 20 Oct 1997 12:43:45 +0100


Simon> Simon St.Laurent <URL:mailto:SimonStL@classic.msn.com>

>> The CDATA idea does work for what it is intended to be used for.
>> Text with no subelements, entity references or other markup.

>> In default SGML, a CDATA element's data is terminated by "</"
>> followed by any valid name start character (or the end of the
>> entity).  In XML, there is no name-start checking and every
>> start-tag must have a corresponding end-tag.

> In article <UPMAIL17.199710191801480696@classic.msn.com>, Simon
> wrote:

Simon> Why is it so difficult to create CDATA elements - which have to
Simon> be marked clearly in XML by start and end tags?  There is no
Simon> need in XML to stop CDATA at just any </ sequence, just the </
Simon> sequence which turns into the full end tag of the element.  Of
Simon> course, this would probably break compatibility with all my
Simon> favorite SGML parsers, at least if I wrote scripts that used </
Simon> at some point.

All the contributors to this thread so far seem to have concentrated on
the difficulties posed by recognising the _end_ of a CDATA content -
while checking for a matching GI adds complexity, it is not impossible.
But one thing that *is* impossible is for a non-validating parser to
know that '<' followed by a name token is to be read as data, rather
than as a start-tag.  You need to read the DTD to know the content is
CDATA.  (Okay, you could use the rmd parameter of the XML declaration,
but encouraging authors to do this would remove some of XML's advantages.
One in particular being the ability to parse much of the document while
fetching the external subset)


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