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   Re: [xml-dev] Character Entities: An XML Core WG View

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> There is no reason why other people cannot explore such mechanisms; the Core
> WG is simply recording its current view, that there is no compelling need
> for *it* to do so.

Whether it's XML Core or a specific group for the purpose set up within
the XML Activity is a matter of W3C resources and politics, but unless
it is done at that level nothing can be done really. One of the
fundamental problems is incompatible entity sets and there is nothing
anyone can do about that "from the side": all a third party can do is
issue yet another incompatible set. Unless someone at the centre can
state that these are the names and these are the unicode values that
they map to, then we can't really make progress.

> W3C XML Schema and its competitors do not attempt to do everything that
> DTDs can do, and for some purposes they remain indispensable.

But Schema were introduced to address some percieved deficiencies in
DTD, the question on the table is whether some of the remaining features
should get similar treatment. The document though just dismisses the
issue entirely. I have spent a lot of time failing to persuade MathML
users that they don't really want to use entities at all: use of the
mathml dtd causes all sorts of problems, it's big, until last month
the XML parser used by IE6 could not read it, Mozilla hardly ever reads
DTD at all, etc etc etc, but still users insisted that it was important
to work round those problems and use entity references rather than do
the technically simpler thing and drop the dtd and use character refs.
there comes a point when you have to accept that the user is right and
if they all say that there is a requirement then there is one.

> Telephone dials have severe usability problems:

Maybe. And if that bothered me I would approach the appropriate
authority. I wouldn't bother XMl core with it. But XML Core _is_ the
appropriate authority in this case. You can not fix telephony and ensure
world peace but you can (perhaps) do something about XML entities.

> That is a genuine problem which needs to be fixed by work such as Rick
> Jelliffe is doing. 

Rick, and me and others, but as I say abve it requires some central XML
activity (or preferably W3C/ISO/OASIS) in order to give any "unified"
set any real force, otherwise it would just be another set marginally
incomatible wth the existing xhtml docbook and mathml sets.

> Details would be very useful.

I could supply gory details off list but as a first approximation look
at Norm's document:


there are two sections of unsupported characters listed

1.3. Entities with no Mapping
1.4. Entities with Substituted Mappings

One of the differences between mathml and docbook is that I treated all
entites as in 1.4 eg defining jnodot to be "j" whereas Norm couldn't
bring himself to abuse quite as many names... the other difference is
that MathML uses more of Unicode 3, long arrows, VS1 etc.

> That's because private agreements don't scale on the Web.  Not all uses
> of XML are Webby, though.

not all of them but many are, and many of the non web ones used
"standardised" vocabulary such as mathml. So in these cases the comment
about PUA use in the document is not relevant and perhaps teh document
could be ammended to suggest what to use instead of PUA in these cases?


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