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Re: [xml-dev] XML: why there is no escape (was Re: [xml-dev] Whatto escape when serializing XML)

Michael Kay wrote:
> I don't agree. Escaping doesn't mean "adding a prefix", it means "switching
> to a different encoding convention", or "breaking away from the constraints
> imposed by the current rules". I find the usage "< is escaped as &lt;"
> perfectly natural (once the strangeness of the transitive verb wears off).
> But naturalness, of course, is a matter of opinion.
Of course, I understand that it is futile: XML has freed people from the 
need or occasion to do text processing where double-delimiting and 
escaping needed sharp categories. I started off programming modem 
microcontrollers, so the use of "escape sequence" to mean switching 
modes (as in Hayes "+++") is certainly familiar to me. But I am not the 
only dinosaur who thinks it is a technical term which has had a 
particular meaning in parsing which would be unfortunate to lose.

For example http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/escape  only has escape in the 
sense I understand it. (I didn't write this, btw!)

   1. (computing) To prefix a character with a special character
      (depending on context) to allow a character to pass through
      without special meaning.

          /When using the "bash" shell, you can *escape* the ampersand
          character with a backslash./
          /In your monobook.js file, you can *escape* the apostrophe
          character with a backslash./
          /Brion *escaped* the double quote character on Windows by
          adding a second double quote within the literal./

And the senses given in Wikipedia for "escape code" and "escape 
sequence" similarly don't support the other use of escape to mean "not 
escape".  (I.e. the escape sequence in XML is "&#" to change parsing 
mode to read references then ";" to escape back. This is mode escaping 
not character escaping.)


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