Last minute request for BASE64 section support in XML 1.0

Don Park donpark at
Sat Feb 7 08:16:43 GMT 1998


>> It looks like XML is about to be approved as standard by W3C. Could we
>> please have BASE64 sections as a part of XML standard 1.0?
>There is no chance of such a change being made at this stage.

Could you please elaborate on why there is no chance of BASE64 section
proposal being accepted?  As far as I know, XML has not been approved.
Whether or not W3C has already written out the approval announcement, the
fact is that it is not approved yet.  If your assessment of the probability
is based the lack of time for the XML-WG to consider such a proposal, I must
beg to differ with you.  As far as I know, the WG serves the community and,
while its activity must be constrained by the schedule of its members, the
need of the community must be met if the need is worthy enough.

I am not sure if support for embedded binary data has been brought up in the
WG but I am, frankly, very disappointed with the lack of support.  CDATA is
awfully inadequate.  The Open Trading Protocol (OTP) proposal has a need to
embed signature within OTP documents and it uses <![CDATA[ for embedding.
For occasional occurrance of ]]>, OTP states:

"Any CDATA end sequences ("]]>") within the data are replaced by
"]]]]><![CDATA[>" in order to escape
the CDATA end sequence"

Am I the only one who thinks this is pure madness for a yet-to-be-approved
standard that proposes to be the next generation data formating language?
If I did not bring up the subject before, it is because I 'trusted' the WG
to find a solution to a problem which I assumed was too significant to
ignore.  Perhaps the problems I am concerned about are not of major concern
for the WG members.  Is it only me who worries about the problem of handling
endless data whose existance is defined only by its movement?  Is TV
broadcast not a document?

Whether or not my proposal is accepted or not, I would like to know if
others feel that better support for binary data is needed or not.  And I
would like to ask the members of the WG to consider the issue and the need
some of us have.  Delay of one to two week is, IMHO, well worth it.


Don Park

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