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   Possible changes for XML 2nd Edition

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  • From: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
  • To: "xml-dev@xml.org" <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 14:51:43 -0400

The XML Core WG would like input from the xml-dev public, particularly
those of you who have implemented XML parsers, on the following points:

Issue PE28:

Currently the XML Recommendation is silent about the handling of
documents that contain "impossible" bytes.  For example, the byte 0xFF
cannot appear in any UTF-8 encoded document.  We are considering making
such violations of the encoding a fatal error.

PRO: an improperly encoded document is not really a text document at all;
nothing should be done on the basis of it.  XML's draconian error handling rule
should lead to a "fatal error", which means the rest of the document must
not be parsed.

CON: Some parsers may be relying on libraries supplied by the OS, which may
not properly signal erroneous input.  Is it too great a burden on the
parser implementor to impose this restriction?

Issue PE24:

Currently, system identifiers may or may not contain fragment identifiers
(the string beginning with "#" at the end of a URI reference).  The Recommendation
says that if a fragment identifier is present, a processor "may signal an error".
This suggests that the legitimate actions for a parser, on finding a fragment
identifier, are either to process it properly or to signal an error.
It is not clear whether the parser is allowed to simply ignore the
fragment identifier.

We are considering changing this language to say that "it is an error" to
use a fragment identifier.  This would mean that a parser may respect the
fragment identifier, signal an error, silently ignore the fragment identifier,
or even cause demons to fly out of your nose when it finds one.  (:-)).

Is this appropriate?  Are existing parsers ignoring fragment identifiers?
Should we *require* that an error be signalled?

Note: I have set the Reply-To addresses to xml-dev and to xml-editor@w3.org,
which is an archive of comments on the XML Rec.  Feel free to replicate
this message elsewhere, but try to preserve the Reply-Tos.


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau,  || http://www.reutershealth.com
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau,           || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.            -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

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