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RE: [xml-dev] Why is Encoding Metadata (e.g. encoding="UTF-8) put Inside the XML Document?

> Why? Shouldn't metadata be external to a document?

Sadly, most of us are using file systems based on 1960s thinking that don't
allow metadata to be held anywhere other than in the content of the file (or
potentially in its name). So while it would be very nice to hold it in some
kind of external file description, and to have it reliably preserved (or
where appropriate, modified) by protocols that move the file from one place
to another or that change its encoding, that isn't the way today's systems
work. And the prospect of ever having mainstream operating systems and file
transfer protocols that do some strong typing on files and their contents
seems as far away as ever. So pragmatic solutions like the XML declaration
reign, despite their obvious inadequacies.

Michael Kay

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