Ampersand in URLs (was: RE: </> as end tag)
At 8:27 PM -0500 11/2/97, Chris Lovett wrote: >As for the ampersands, this is a real problem. We found with our experience >with CDF that customers just can't handle putting & inside their URL's. >We want to comply with XML standards, but we also want XML to be successful >in the marketplace. One area that we didn't compromise is with case >sensitivity. The new parser is fully case sensitive - but with a switch >that sets it back to case insensitive for those people that are reading XML >that was generated before case sensitivity was decided. You have to make >some tough compromizes sometimes. There was a query on the XML-SIG about HTML and the ampersand rule (XML agrees with the HTML standard, but not all HTML implementations). I thought that my answer fits well in this discussion as well. Internet Explorer, ironically, already insists on the escaping of ampersand in some circumstances. All that I've tested, actually, but I won't assume that it follows the standard -- if they do, "some" should be changed to "all". I am not sure about the story with whitespace, but in fact, if they don't require & before space, it matters little to me, since space isn't legal in a URL. I don't see ampersand as a show stopper, especially once people realize how useful entities can be in modularizing long URLs. And, as Paul notes, we can fall back on the authoring tool argument. More important, since we have "draconian" error handling in XML, simple testing of the document will ensure that the error is detected (rather than the HTML case, where it depends on the browser that you test with). One of the biggest problems with HTML has been that that the standard and the implmentations differ(ed) so widely and on so many points -- this is a primary reason that we should be very careful to implement XML exactly. Consistent parsing will go a long way to salve the wounds of slight differences from HTML. Divergent syntax in any software that purports to be XML-compliant will cause real problems from users, who may not be technical enough to read and understand the specification to judge correctness of implementations. We're sure to have bugs, but implementors we have a very real responsibility to conform in every way that they can, regardless of what design decisions they would rather have made differently. This truth is what makes standards such an object of (seemingly pointless) passion -- because you have to take them as they _actually are_ if they are to have the value that they promise (even when you feel that that value is uncoscionably less than it could have been). -- David _________________________________________ David Durand dgd@c... \ david@d... Boston University Computer Science \ Sr. Analyst http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/ \ Dynamic Diagrams --------------------------------------------\ http://www.dynamicDiagrams.com/ MAPA: mapping for the WWW \__________________________ xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; (un)subscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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