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RE: Two different sets of experiences about non-English identifiers
- From: Dimiter Naydenov <email@example.com>
- To: XML Everywhere <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 11:50:27 +0300
Look, I'm Bulgarian. I use the Cyrillic charset and don't see who would stop
me to use cyrillic tag-names ?
I cannot understand why there must be so English-specific restrictions,
after all English is not the only spoken language. I think that others
non-English speakers will agree. In the past, languages like C/C++, Pascal,
COBOL, etc. where written by English speakers, and of course they were using
English keywords. This is fine, but this *was* in the past. After that many
attempts for internationalization were made - in OSes, applications, even
The world is heading towards the idea "every program/document/tool/OS must
be available in every possible spoken language". We are too far from that
though, but we couldn't possibly get there by statements like "...ah well -
we are speaking English, so lets just assume everyone else does". Please, do
not be so near-sighted. Internationalization is the future. Unicode is a
good begining. There aren't many tools that support it ? No problem, they
will be made. OSes will develop support for it. It's just a matter of time.
So please, do not assume English is the only language for element-names,
attributes, etc. Because it isn't.
From: XML Everywhere [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 10:31 AM
Subject: Re: Two different sets of experiences about non-English identifiers
English is the lingua franca for business, ergo XML
tags should only contain ASCII. That's a good
guideline if you're writing a DTD for commerce.
But other applications need not heed this advice.
I do not completely understand Unicode or character
encodings in general. Few people do and fewer
tools support them. Operating systems don't
handle non-ASCII code pages very well.
Those are good reasons to be cautious.
But character encoding issues
apply equally well to the whole
document, not just to names.
As of yet, nobody has made a good argument
as to why XML names are so restrictive.
Who hasn't been surprised and a
little miffed that values for "ID" attributes
can't start with a number?
It's fine to reserve some characters
for future use (such as punctuation),
but an element name is not
like a C++ variable name. At
least there is no good reason why
they should be restricted as such. It's
just what the gods decided at the
time, probably because they are, of course,
So gods, explain yourselves. Or,
being gods, you have the luxury
of not having to answer to anyone.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Don Park" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2001 10:29 PM
Subject: RE: Two different sets of experiences about non-English identifiers
Immediate advantages of native tag names cannot be denied, but at what cost?
Yes, little XSLT or Perl can translate, but cost of realizing 'can' is not
zero. A Korean bank, which decided two years ago to use native tag names
companywide, now has to merge with an American bank, some heads will roll
when the CEO is faced with the bill. My point is that we donot understands
the issues fully, and we need to find out before such practice becomes
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