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   Re: Confused about & in entity literal

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  • From: Richard Tobin <richard@cogsci.ed.ac.uk>
  • To: roddey@us.ibm.com, xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 00:31:13 +0100

>   <!DOCTYPE doc [
>   <!ELEMENT doc (#PCDATA)>
>   <!ENTITY e "<![CDATA[&foo;]]>">
>   ]>
>   <doc>&e;</doc>

Hmmm, this one *is* a little strange.  Let's consider the other one

>   <!DOCTYPE doc [
>   <!ELEMENT doc (#PCDATA)>
>   <!ENTITY e "&lt;foo>">
>   ]>
>   <doc>&e;</doc>

The &lt; is *not* expanded when the entity is defined.  It is a
general entity (that it's built-in makes no difference) and is
"bypassed" in the terminology of section 4.4.  So it's just as if
the body had been 


which is perfectly well-formed.

Back to the first example.  What's strange about it is that I believe

  <!ENTITY e "<![CDATA[&foo]]>">

(note the missing semicolon) would not be well-formed, even though
there turns out not to be an entity reference when it is expanded in
the body!  In the original, &foo; is (by production 9) an entity
reference when it appears in the entity definition (and it is
bypassed), but is not an entity reference when it is parsed in
the body.

-- Richard

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