Whitespace question

Gavin McKenzie gmckenzi at JetForm.com
Wed Aug 4 14:58:16 BST 1999


> -----Original Message-----
> From: John E. Simpson [mailto:simpson at polaris.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 1999 10:16 PM
> To: Randy Bryan; XML Developer List
> Subject: Re: Whitespace question
> 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". 

I was wondering about this very issue...

You suggest that the 'default' behaviour for an XML document is to behave as
if the root element had an xml:space="default".  Seems reasonable, afterall
why else would xml:space have a value of "default".

However, in section 2.10 "White Space Handling" of the XML spec it says:

"The root element of any document is considered to have signaled no
intentions as regards application space handling, unless it provides a value
for this attribute or the attribute is declared with a default value. "

My understanding of this paragraph is to say that,

"When a document does not place an explicit xml:space attribute on the root
element, an application may choose to process the whitespace within that
document as it chooses; i.e. as equivalent to either one of 'default'or
'preserve' based on the application's default behaviour"

Am I reading too much into this part of the XML spec?


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