Whitespace question

John E. Simpson simpson at polaris.net
Wed Aug 4 04:16:08 BST 1999

At 09:39 PM 08/03/1999 -0400, Randy Bryan wrote:
>Suppose I want to set xml:space to "default" for all of
>the character data.  Is this valid?
><?xml version="1.0" standalone="yes" xml:space="default"?>

No. The xml:space is an attribute, i.e. it applies to *elements*; the XML
declaration is not an element. (Those things that look like attributes --
the version and standalone document declaration -- are more accuratly
termed pseudo-attributes.)

>If it's not allowed, how would I go
>about setting "default" for all of the character data
>in the text?  

Set xml:space="default" in your top-level element. It's inherited by all
descendant elements unless they explicitly set it to xml:space="preserve".

That said, why would you want to explicitly set it to the default in the
top-level element (or, even if it were legal, in the XML declaration)? That
would be redundant. The only place xml:space="default" makes sense is in
the context of an ancestor element with xml:space="preserve". Like:

	<poetry xml:space="preserve">
		<epigraph xml:space="default">
			On the occasion of the poet's

All the stanza elements would have their whitespace preserved. Only the
epigraph element would follow the processor's default behavior, e.g.
(maybe) stripping out extraneous blanks and newlines. 

John E. Simpson            | The secret of eternal youth
simpson at polaris.net        | is arrested development.
http://www.flixml.org      |  -- Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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