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This is similar to the "round-tripping" argument. The solution of encoding them as character references is interesting -- it is almost the same as allowing someone to "inline" base64. I wonder what impact this would have on applications using infoset though.
From: Michael Kay [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sat 3/23/2002 6:18 AM
To: Joshua Allen; 'Rick Jelliffe'; email@example.com
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] MSXML DOM Special Chars Less Than 32
> Why would someone want to use XML if they need to transmit illegal
A: "I want to replicate my WebDAV configuration. I want to do this by encoding all the WebDAV properties in an XML file and transmitting that over the network".
B: "You can't represent WebDAV properties in XML, because they can contain characters that XML doesn't support"
A: "But I wouldn't be so stupid as to use such characters in my WebDAV properties".
B: "So you're prepared for the replication to fail if I find such a character has somehow got in?"
A: "No, of course not. The replication is business-critical"
B: "So I need to write the code to handle this case, even though you promised it would never happen?"
Write your own ending to the story.
(Of course there are solutions like using processing instructions or quoted-printable encoding. But I haven't heard any good argument why I shouldn't be able to use XML character references to represent these characters, which would seem a much more natural approach. In any case, the semantics of BEL are at least as well-defined as TAB.)