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On Sunday 16 February 2003 12:35 pm, Mike Champion wrote:
> Stupid question: Why couldn't XML incorporate Unicode by reference rather
> than spending half of the spec defining the "unicode-character apparatus"?
There are a fair number of characters that really don't make much sense as
markup... and XML 1.0 is pretty conservative, but generally sensible. At the
time, there were no good guidelines from the Unicode consortium on what
should/should not be allowed, which is something they have addressed
FWIW. It took quite a lot of effort to get where we are now. In 1994, the
whole idea of using a single document character set was open to debate....and
Unicode as a BIG question to many people (I got some truly vitriolic emails
from people who were upset at the idea). It took a couple of years to show
why fixing the document character set was the only really sensible way of
making HTML viable from an I18N perspective... and XML rode on that work a
bit. It still took a bit of debate to open XML up to native language markup.
The point here is that native language markup and Unicode were not obvious
choices to the masses until fairly recently.
I think XML 1.0 did very well overall... I actually dislike the approach XML
1.1 is taking mostly because I think it's a good thing to have a
self-contained specification, especially a cornerstone spec like XML. This is
in stark contrast to the spider web of specs we're seeing nowadays.