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   Re: Possible changes for XML 2nd Edition

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  • From: Steve Schafer <pandeng@telepath.com>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 21:24:48 -0500

On Wed, 24 May 2000 16:28:27 -0700, Eldar Musayev
<eldarm@microsoft.com> wrote:

>It will push the market to create processors which will break the
>standard, because it is unreasonable and this is no good both for
>technology and standard.

Why is it unreasonable?

>Be realistic. 

I am. I also try to think about the future consequences of any
decisions I make.

>You are probably sitting in a comfort of U.S.A. and total dominance
>of the English language.

While it is true that I am sitting in the USA, it just so happens that
the current XML-related project I'm working on must support Spanish
text, so no, I am not dominated by the English language.

>Would you like to add charset information to every XML document you

If I were to use non-default encodings, yes. Is that such a burden? In
any case, I have pretty much standardized on UTF-8 for all new work.
The only time that I'd ever use any other encoding would be with
wholesale conversion of existing documents.

>Because what you are proposing stripes the whole world except few
>purely-English language countries of the convenience of a default

Actually, even in my "purely-English" XML projects I use non-ASCII
characters, such as em-dashes. I encode these in UTF-8.

>In short, non-valid characters are errors, but they should not be fatal.

As John points out, we're not talking about invalid characters. We're
talking about encoding errors that cannot lead to _any_ character,
valid or not.

>They just should be reported as recoverable error or even just
>warning (not "silently swallowing down", don't exaggerate) 

If what Rick and John say is correct, then it's not an exaggeration. 

Let me tell you what will happen if we don't crack down on these kinds
of lax behaviors: We will have the HTML fiasco all over again. We will
have a dozen different incompatible XML parsers, and people will have
to test their XML files against each one, and perhaps even make
parser-specific XML files. That is not a road down which I wish to

-Steve Schafer

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