CDATA by any other name... (was The raw and the cooked)

John Cowan cowan at
Tue Nov 3 18:32:43 GMT 1998

Paul Prescod replied to Rick Jelliffe:

> > The <![JAVA[ ]]> idea was not that JAVA would be a "CDATA marked section",
> > but an "RCDATA marked section", which means that special character
> > references and entity references would be allowed.

I missed this before.  Java doesn't need character references, for
which it has its own syntax, and entity references would IMHO cause
more confusion then they are worth, since & and < have well-known
Java semantics utterly distinct from their SGML (reference) semantics.
> This would eliminate the most interesting thing about CDATA sections:
> character suppression. Making <![JAVA[ RCDATA is going in the wrong
> direction. Rather it should be a CDATA-on-steriods that even ignores CDEnd
> ("]]>") and only looks for something like ]JAVA]> to end the section.

Doesn't help, because the recursive problem remains vivid when Java
programs generate SGML.  Keep CDEnd and use "]]\76" inside Java
strings, "]] >" in ordinary Java source.

John Cowan		cowan at
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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