Entities in Attribute Values
davidsch at microsoft.com
Fri Jun 13 18:21:58 BST 1997
The use of the & as the CGI separator character is a well established
convention and unlikely to change. It will continue whether we support
it or not.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Arjun Ray [SMTP:aray at q2.net]
> Sent: Thursday, June 12, 1997 10:03 PM
> To: xml-dev at ic.ac.uk
> Subject: Re: Entities in Attribute Values
> On Thu, 12 Jun 1997, David Schach wrote:
> > Because entity references are allowed inside ot attribute values, it
> > not possible to store an unmodified URL with data in an attribute.
> > example, the following XML is not valid because the '&''s are not
> > escaped inside of SELF's HREF value.
> This is a problem only if '&' *must* be the field separator. Why not
> something else,, like ';' ?
> > <SELF
> > n&dilbert=on&calvin=on&peanuts=on" />
> > This makes it inconvenient to store URL's in XML files. Would it
> > be interested in changing entity processing to fix this?
> IMHO, there's no need for that. Or, at any rate, there shouldn't be.
> '&' as a field separator in "query URLs" is a historical artefact of
> of RTFM. The problem was recognized reasonably early too, and a fix
> proposed, but no HTML browser implementor of, ah, consequence ever got
> Round Tuit.
> From RFC 1866, Section 8.2.1 "The form-urlencoded Media Type":
> NOTE - The URI from a query form submission can be
> used in a normal anchor style hyperlink.
> Unfortunately, the use of the `&' character to
> separate form fields interacts with its use in SGML
> attribute values as an entity reference delimiter.
> For example, the URI `http://host/?x=1&y=2' must be
> written `<a href="http://host/?x=1&y=2"' or `<a
> HTTP server implementors, and in particular, CGI
> implementors are encouraged to support the use of
> `;' in place of `&' to save users the trouble of
> escaping `&' characters this way.
> We're not committed to perpetauting mistakes, are we?
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