Sean Mc Grath digitome at iol.ie
Wed Aug 20 00:39:30 BST 1997

Paul Prescod made the point that Charles Goldfarb made the
"ban mixed content" suggestion some time ago. In private correspondence,
a number of other XML'ers have said likewise.

Paul goes on to say that it was rejected as unwieldy at the time.
I was not involved in XML at the time but the more I think about it the more
"wieldy" Charles' idea seems.

I think it speaks volumes for the merit of Charles' idea that the best and
brightest brains in the SGML world have fought with this issue since the early
days of XML without achieving (IMHO) the hoped for breakthrough.

If it is more complex than "I before E except after C" or "the right hand
thumb rule", it is too complex IMHO.

The PCDATA element trick is sooooo easy to understand! Mixed content
SGML can be converted to this "mixed-content-free" format quite easily. 

XML started out aiming for simplicity. It has achieved this
wonderfully well in a whole variety of areas but "the white space" is not
one of them.

If it is too late to revisit this I will have to console myself with the
thought that
the universe bifurcated when the white space decision was made. In some
parallel universe, Charles' suggestion is simplifying XML for many people.

Anyway, perhaps it is too late to revisit the mixed content problem. I hope not
but will shut up when someone who knows what the position is tell me to.


Sean Mc Grath

sean at digitome.com
Digitome Electronic Publishing

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