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>I can't find any suggestion that those
>control characters are somehow not characters
Well, you could deduce it from these two sentences (from Unicode 2.0,
which was current when the XML spec was first written; I haven't
checked the current version):
"Characters have well-defined semantics" (section 2.2)
"The only C0 control code that has specified semantics in the Unicode
Standard is U+0009 HORIZONTAL TAB" (section 6.1)
And there seems to be a bias towards referring to "control codes"
rather than "control characters".
So I think someone reading Unicode 2.0 could well have inferred that
they weren't really characters.
But it might as well be fixed anyway.