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   RE: Representing '&' in URLs

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  • From: "Borden, Jonathan" <jborden@mediaone.net>
  • To: "XML Dev" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 19:54:04 -0500

John Cowan wrote:

> Robin Cover wrote:
> > This makes the syntax valid, but unfortunately, only a few Web servers
> > will be able to handle this notation.  The same engineers (apparently)
> > who have designed the software to generate the malformed URLs have
> > also designed the servers to grok ONLY raw (unescaped) ampersand.  For
> > the notation you have offered, most processors will choke.  So, as
> > a document author attempting to compose valid HTML/XML with links
> > of this kind - you're hosed.
> Note that this stricture applies only when you are trying to make
> well-formed XML that is also usable HTML.  If you are only concerned
> with XML, then use &amp; without fear, as any XML processor will
> do the right thing before passing the hyperlink to your application.

	The way I have handled this issue in my XSL sheets that generate HTML from
XML is in the following (sample template) ... here the HTML href is created
from individual XML attributes and the '&' is used to concatenate these into
the output href attribute ... the HTML looks like
<img href="dicomjpeg.asp?Study=1.2.840.111&Series=1&Image=54" alt="here is
an example" />

<xsl:template match="Images">
	<xsl:for-each match="Image">
		<xsl:element name="img">
		<xsl:attribute name="src">dicomjpeg.asp?Study=<xsl:value-of
select="ancestor(Series)/@Number" />&amp;Image=<xsl:value-of
		<xsl:attribute name="alt"><xsl:value-of select="@desc" /></xsl:attribute>

Jonathan Borden

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