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RE: [xml-dev] An XML document is not well-formed if encoding="..." does not match the actual encoding of the characters in the document, right?

At 2012-12-29 14:38 +0000, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
>Is the solution to the problems to simply 
>eliminate the need for conversions by mandating 
>that every application, every IDE, every text 
>editor, and every system worldwide adopt one 
>character encoding, UTF-8? It that a realistic 
>solution? If so, what is the timeframe in which it could be achieved?

Imposing or recommending mandates should only be 
done for interfaces and exchanges.  Why impose 
constraints on what people are doing in their own 
world after a file has been exchanged?  Preaching 
good practice is far better (and more palatable) 
than mandating what people should be doing in their own environment.

Note that the UBL committee has been mandating 
explicit indication of the character set (rather 
than assuming any default encoding or any 
higher-level protocol) for a while because the 
specification is for the reliable interchange of information:

   http://docs.oasis-open.org/ubl/prd2-UBL-2.1/UBL-2.1.html#CHARACTER-ENC

   [IND2] All UBL instance documents MUST identify their
   character encoding within the XML declaration.

UBL then goes one step further by recommending 
(using "SHOULD") that that encoding which is used 
be UTF-8 because of an interoperability decision 
made between international standards organizations:

   [IND3] In conformance with ISO IEC ITU UN/CEFACT eBusiness
   Memorandum of Understanding Management Group (MOUMG) Resolution
   01/08 (MOU/MG01n83) as agreed to by OASIS, all UBL XML SHOULD
   be expressed using UTF-8.

I grant this is only a strong recommendation 
rather than a mandated requirement, but the 
committee has tried to bring these issues to 
light for users who may be na´ve of the 
situation.  At least by mandating the encoding= 
in the XML declaration, there are no assumptions 
about defaults that might be different between 
trading partners.  When the na´ve users follow 
the published constraints then this particular problem is avoided.

. . . . . . . . Ken


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