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   Re: [xml-dev] Internationalising Regular Expressions

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John,

Thanks for the replies. It strikes me that I could have phrased some of my questions more precisely. In one case it, I think, led you to give an incorrect response, at least when viewed from a pedantic vantage point.

A suggested issue for W3C TAG follows at the end of this email.

In a message dated 30/10/2002 12:00:01 GMT Standard Time, jcowan@reutershealth.com writes:


> In W3C XML Schema, and therefore in XForms, is it correct that the only way
> to express the notion of an English language / ASCII "word character" in a
> regular expression is using [A-Za-z0-9_]?

Correct.


I didn't express my question well. The character class I gave isn't the "only" solution. Equivalent character classes such as [0-9a-zA-Z_] would also work. I take your answer to assent to the notion that a character class which enumerates allowed characters is the only approach in W3C XML Schema and therefore XForms.



> Is there any facility to express the notion of, for example, a French word
> character? Or German?

You'd have to concoct a similar character class, and there is always
a measure of controversy about these things.  The standard English spellings of
"na´ve" and "fašade" require letters outside [A-Za-z], and so does
one spelling of "co÷perate".


I assumed that might be necessary. :(


> Or is the \p{Basic_Latin} the smallest / most precise
> "chunk" of characters that can be used in such a setting?

That certainly doesn't do what you want: it matches any ASCII character,
rejecting the non-ASCII ones.


I expressed my question poorly. What I think I was trying to ask was "Is a defined/named sequence of consecutive Unicode character points the only way to attempt to approach this?". Or alternatively, "There is no officially / widely accepted character class for, say, French word characters?".

BTW does anyone know what metacharacters are used in, say, French JavaScript code? Is it already the case, practically speaking, that \w wouldn't be used in any way by non-English speakers and that an appropriate character class would be the only solution?

It seems to me that W3C XML Schema effectively makes a radical change to the usage of the \w metacharacter. Implementations of regular expressions already have more than enough inconsistencies.

Isn't it long overdue that some more consistent cross-language regular expression syntax was developed?

A tasty issue for the TAG? Or IETF?

Pass the aspirin someone, I feel a headache coming on! :)

Andrew Watt




 

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