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   RE: [xml-dev] more fixed lists (was UTF-8+names)

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@simonstl.com] 
> Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2003 10:53
> To: XML Dev
> Subject: [xml-dev] more fixed lists (was UTF-8+names)
> tbray@textuality.com (Tim Bray) writes:
> >Check out http://tbray.org/tag/utf-8+names.html
> I have (yet) another concern about this document.
> Sections 6 and 7 appear effectively to create 
> yet-another-fixed-list for processors to incorporate into 
> their code, with no provision for future change.

I don't see how the lists can be changed in the future, since we are talking
about an encoding.  Changing the lists would mean that the encoding becomes
a different encoding, and must have a different name (UTF-8+names-1,
UTF-8+names-2, etc.).  The last thing we want is interoperability problems
between different versions of the *same* encoding that decode the same byte
sequence in different ways.  So any list that is initially specified must be
carved in stone.

Or do we want a parameterized UTF-8+names encoding, depending on a named set
of lists?  Something like "UTF-8+names(myLists)"?  This would probably solve
the original use case better than a fixed set of lists.  But aren't we
getting too far along this path??  I think we are.

It seems to me that we are really addressing the problem at the wrong layer.
The more I think about it, the less I like the proposal.   I can understand
the use case that inspired this proposal, but I increasingly believe that
the problem should be solved at the XML level, not at the encoding level.


> We've seen how well this worked for XML 1.0 - until the 
> appearance of XML 1.1, which provoked all kinds of discussion 
> about the impact of change.  
> What provision for changing these lists can be made?
> More importantly, what precedent does this set?  If I want to 
> create my own "UTF-8+names-in-Russian" and 
> "UTF-16+names-in-Chinese", is there anything stopping me?  
> It's not like   screams "non-breaking space" to people 
> who don't speak English, and localization of such things 
> seems like more than a convenience as XML spreads.
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