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

david at david at
Wed Nov 4 11:49:30 GMT 1998

Ronald Bourret writes:

 > Why not?  This would be very useful for constraining what can be
 > put into a database, many (most?) of which do not support Unicode.

There are three, much better choices for specific problems like this:

1. Have the application throw an error if an out-of-range character

2. Convert the text to UTF-8 before storing it in the database (UTF-8
   and ASCII are identical up to 0x7f)

3. Escape non-ASCII characters with character references before
   storing the text in the database.

As I mentioned before, it's always better to be explicit about this
kind of thing -- syntactic subtlety is a bad thing.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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