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Re: [xml-dev] [ Revision #2 ] 15 elementary truths about XML

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 11:19 AM, Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org> wrote:

> 2. As noted above there are no characters in a computer, only bytes. Thus, "An XML document is a sequence of characters" actually means that an XML document is an abstraction of the underlying sequence of bytes.

Technically, no. This isn't correct. XML documents are not required to
be in computers, or in late 20th/21st century style digital computers.
An XML document printed on paper is still an XML document, as is one
stored in an analog computer or some other medium. So would an XML
document stored in a computer that used 7-bit or 12-bit bytes or some
other non-standard length. See

In practice, almost all XML documents stored and exchanged today are
encoded with 8-bit bytes (i.e. octets), but that may well not be true
forever. For instance we can envision a time when efficiency demands
32, 64, or even 128 bits becomes the minimum addressable unit. Or when
bytes are replaced by qubits. As long as these things can still encode
text, XML will still be XML.

Elliotte Rusty Harold

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