More CDATA questions

David Brownell david-b at
Thu Jun 17 06:15:19 BST 1999

roddey at wrote:
> Is CDATA effectively the same as an entity reference

No -- CDATA is characters.

Entity reference is "contents" which may be characters, but
may also have elements, nested references, and more.

>	 except that its in place?
> I.e. is it basically just a blob of text which, once seen will
> have the
> bracketting gorp removed and the characters will be taken as
> character data of
> the enclosing element?

Just characters ... which isn't the same as an entity ref.

> 	 if I see this:
> <foo>
>    <![CDATA[     ]]>
> </foo>
> should the spaces inside the CDATA be treated as either ignorable
> whitespace or
> characters according to the normal processing rules for a CHILDREN
> element?

Treated as characters.  There was some discussion here a few months
back on this topic, initiated by Henry S. Thompson.  It should be in
the archives (sometime before February).  The OASIS test suite in
consequence has a case for this; I recall putting Henry's case into
that collection of tests, after it seemed there was agreement.

> I guess part of the question is that are the contents of CDATA
> sections REALLY
> not passed judgement on, as you would think from the spec,

Really!  ;-)

- Dave

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