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   Re: Case sensitivity

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  • From: Eric Bohlman <ebohlman@netcom.com>
  • To: Stefan van den Oord <soord@vda.nl>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 07:27:27 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 3 Apr 2000, Stefan van den Oord wrote:

> I have a simple question, I think: is XML case sensitive? In other words,
> are the tags case sensitive? I also mean the <?XML... tag and the <!DOCTYPE
> tag.

Yes, XML names are case-sensitive (remember that they're not restricted to
being English names, and many non-Western languages don't even have a
concept of case-folding). 

Also, when trying to get your head around XML, it *really* helps if you
use precise terminology.  "Tag" has a very specific meaning in XML, and
neither of the things you called "tags" are in fact tags.  Your first
example is actually one of either an XML declaration (if it occurs at the
beginning of a main document) or a text declaration (if it occurs at the
beginning of an external parsed entity), and it is also *wrong*; 
according to productions 23 and 77 in the XML Recommendation, the word
'xml' in such declarations *must* be in lower case (draft versions of the
XML spec prior to the Recommendation allowed arbitrary case for this
declaration, but the matter has been settled for over two years).  Your
second example is one of a markup declaration, specifically a document
type declaration, and production 28 makes it clear that 'DOCTYPE' must be
in upper case. 

Don't take this as a flame; it's just that my observations show that when 
people who are trying to learn markup languages use sloppy terminology 
like calling everything a "tag," they tend to get confused and have 
trouble building a mental model of how the language works.  And if you 
understand that a tag is something different from a declaration which is 
something different from an attribute specification, etc., you'll have an 
easier time answering your questions by consulting reference material 
because you'll know the exact term you want to look up.

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