David G. Durand dgd at cs.bu.edu
Tue Aug 26 16:46:17 BST 1997

At 9:26 AM -0500 8/26/97, Sean Mc Grath wrote:
>[David Durand]
>My counter argument (not reproduced above) *followed* the sentence you *have*
>reproduced. A lovely example of how quoting....

I knew that I should have held my fingers (but hit send too soon).
Apologies for implying that you are not trying for understanding.

>Here is a concrete scenario that either illustrates the problem or
>illustrates my ignorance.
>I want to know how two XML applications that apply different
>WS conventions can inter-operate losslessly. Specifically, why is this
>scenario wrong? :-
>I wish to perform a null transformation across two editing tools App A and
>App B.
>foo.xml --> App A --> App B --> bar.xml
>I want foo.xml == bar.xml
>App A : reads foo.xml and treats WS according to APPA-WS-RULES
>        writes temp.xml
>App B : reads temp.xml and treats WS according to APPB-WS-RULES
>        writes bar.xml
>Result : foo1.xml != bar.xml

Editing tools that change whitespace are not preserving the XML data stream
that would be returned by a parser on the document. a Tool that works like
this is simply buggy, since it reads in data that would return one data
stream to applications, and produces output that would produce a different

On the current definition, even tools that normalize CRLF to LF are
potentially damaging the document. This last is the only poitn that worries
me much.

Editors are _not allowed_ to blindly apply application conventions, unless
they can _ensure_ that the document was created for, and will only be
processed by, that application.

The beauty of not having whitespace normalization is that it's easy to tell
if you've changed anything because the only way not to change it, is to
change nothing.

The only safe rule for an editor is to preserve whitespace just as it is,
unless it knows something about the DTD, or stylesheet, or if the author
requests special handling becuase she knows something about these.

  --- David

David Durand              dgd at cs.bu.edu  \  david at dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/   \  Dynamic Diagrams
--------------------------------------------\  http://dynamicDiagrams.com/
MAPA: mapping for the WWW                    \__________________________

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