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Re: Why is the > symbol a reserved character?

  • From: Michael Kay <mike@saxonica.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2010 13:57:43 +0100

Re:  Why is the > symbol a reserved character?
In character data, > isn't reserved, but ]]> is, so it's worth escaping 
 > anyway rather than only looking for those occurrences of > that are 
preceded by ]]. Why is ]]> reserved when you're not in a CDATA section? 
I don't know - arguably for robustness, in case the CDATA opener is 
mistyped. Or perhaps it's some SGML legacy I'm not aware of (there's a 
lot of it around).

In attribute values, > is reserved, which is pretty pointless, and this 
is entirely due to SGML legacy, which allows the quotes around the 
attribute value to be omitted.

Don't look for too much logic here. It's like asking why "a" is where it 
is on the keyboard. There's a historical explanation, but not a rational 
decision-making process.

Michael Kay

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