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relax UTF-8 default? was: Towards XML 2.0

  • From: Stephen Green <stephengreenubl@gmail.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2010 08:56:36 +0000

relax UTF-8 default? was:  Towards XML 2.0
Does newXML being treatable as a string mean the *UTF-8 default* requirement
is better relaxed in some way? I mean, a developer writing a string doesn't want
to have to ensure it is all written in UTF-8 do they? They might be happy enough
to escape the special XML characters (<,>,",& and maybe in some cases ' too)
but to have to worry about whether a 'pounds sterling' symbol is ISO-8859-1 or
or not is probably going to be more than they can bear (without a pay
rise!). OK,
so removing this UTF-8 default might be a breaking change but if it removes what
might be a major stumbling block isn't it worthwhile? Or would
relaxing this either
a) not solve their problem or b) create a worse problem which can't be solved
another way? Why can't tools just work out from either the context or the text
itself (or file) what the encoding is (doesn't a simple tool like
Notepad do this?).

Stephen D Green

On 8 December 2010 10:03, Andrew Welch <andrew.j.welch@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, 2010-12-07 at 20:25 -0500, Kurt Cagle wrote:
>>> That's one of the central problems with any solution of getting XML on
>>> the browser
> For me "getting XML on the browser" isn't the goal.. it's making XML
> easier to work with for the average dev - the reading and writing of
> config files, generating the intermediate formats etc.
> The typical problems that I see that frustrate people to point of
> hating XML are just because they've treated it as a string - encoding
> issues, broken namespaces, lone amperstands and left angle brackets
> etc.  What appears to be a simple change to the file (say using a
> regex) breaks it completely, and for encoding issues this can be a
> real pain to track down.
> I've spent so much time telling people "you can't treat xml as a
> string" and then tried to explain some ways to do the update... people
> lose interest quickly when faced with SAX (try teaching SAX to someone
> to make a small change to a config file!), then get confused later
> when I mention Saxon, they really don't want to learn a new language
> like XSLT or XQuery, then there's JDOM or XOM or DOM... all options,
> all come with yet more libraries to add to the project.
> Perhaps I'm missing the golden simple way and a helpful teaching
> manner, but I can see the will to live draining from their eyes as I
> talk XMLFilterImpl and buffering the Characters...
> The 'next xml' needs to be treatable as a string... JSON is just a
> string, right?
> --
> Andrew Welch
> http://andrewjwelch.com
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