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

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> This seems to be as much an API issue as a well-formedness one.  What
> is the parser going to output to the next stage?

Whatever it does when it currently gets to a reference that (might have
been) defined in an external entity which was skipped. As you commented
earlier, some parsers don't seem to believe theat this is well formed,
but the spec is more or less clear that it should be.

> It would possible to make SAX parsers return a skipped entity event

something like that, yes.

> And of course for experimentation purposes you could use a different
> syntax for entity references.

Yes, I've got a lot of files with \gamma in and \frac{..}{...} for that
matter (which may look like tex but it gets expanded by XSLT, which
isn't really the language of choice for that, but it does the job)

But this is all leading down the road towards little private languages
with mini application-specific parsers layered over the XML parse.  One
of the good things about XML is that it is horribly verbose but it makes
an even playing field for parsing. There are no end of macro expansion
languages that one could use instead of XML entity references.  If you
are just using one of those or just inventing one of your own it doesn't
really need much experimentation, you just need to code up the tools and
get people to use it. But I think something would be lost, in terms of
the uniformity of syntax forced by XML, and I'd like to see
"experimentation" on whether the XML &foo; notation can be kept in such
a world.  However you may be right and just using \ or some other
delimiter may be the most viable alternative, If the Core WG document
had come out and said that, I would not have objected: I may not have
agreed, but at least it would be acknowledging the problem and
proposing a solution.

David

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