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Re: [xml-dev] A proposal for simplify XML text editing and subsequent processing

On Sun, Aug 21, 2011 at 3:28 AM, Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org> wrote:

>>  To complement this, editors should have a capability to
>> safely strip such indentation characters when encountered (the reverse
>> of what pretty-print formatters achieve) in external sources.
> You can only do that in general with a schema (e.g. a DTD or XSD schema)
> of course.

The indentation characters found in formatted XML, though often
inconsistent (as they often are in examples found online - even in W3C
documents - not a criticism just an observation), can still provide
some useful clues as to the true purpose of leading whitespace

A crude  example of how patterns in leading whitespace can provide
clues as to its purpose:

...Its evident that this block of text should have the
...............whitespace preserved because it's inconsistent
...with previous padding and the XML content

Granted, the trimming will never be 100% safe, but I would argue that,
without a schema or configuration settings, its possible to trim
leading whitespace characters much more safely than pretty-print (even
in the leading XML tools) inserts them.

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