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Entities - dec, hex, or both?

  • From: rev-bob@g...
  • To: xml-dev@i...
  • Date: 28 Nov 99 10:15:29 -0500

dec hex
> ** Original Subject: RE: RE: RE: Why no ']]>' in CharData?
> ** Original Sender: "Don Park" <donpark@d...>
> >I've got a lot of decimal-based entities in my code; what is 
> >your compelling reason for making me convert all of them to
> >hex in the name of a *Simple* Markup Language?  Conversely,
> >maybe Joe over there uses a lot of hex-based Unicode entities;
> >why should he have to go in and convert 'em to decimal?
> That is a compelling reason except SML, as it is now, requires
> at least some conversion/checking to make sure XML documents
> conforms to SML.  So there is no extra cost for converting
> everything to hex.

For everything that needs to be converted, there is an extra cost attached - either in time 
or money, even both.  Would you argue that all data should be stored as entities because 
"well, you're going to have to convert some stuff anyway"?

> Can you think of any other compelling reasons?  I am genuinely
> interested.

Consider this for a minute.  Supporting hex and decimal numeric entities requires a tiny 
module in the parser, and no added work for the poor schmuck who has to actually 
convert the documents.  OTOH, choosing between hex and decimal saves only a few 
bytes of code in the parser while piling more work on said schmuck.

Which makes more sense - fix it once (in the parser) or fix it millions of times (in 
conversion)?  I say, fix it once - by allowing the full range of numeric bases currently 
allowed in XML and HTML.  Support is trivial, nonsupport is extremely nontrivial - so 
go with support.

(With that said, does anyone actually use octal representations for entities?  I seem to 
recall that it's allowed, but I've never seen it used.)

 Rev. Robert L. Hood  | http://rev-bob.gotc.com/
  Get Off The Cross!  | http://www.gotc.com/

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