XML 2.0alpha specification released! (Re: external parsed entites (was: A unique ID question ?))

Rick Jelliffe ricko at allette.com.au
Thu Nov 11 04:41:45 GMT 1999

From: W. Eliot Kimber <eliot at isogen.com>

 >> External parsed entities are a done deal for XML 1.0.
>> But hey, just a version number, right?  We get to
>> have this fight again. :-)

I am happy to announce the release of the XML 2.0alpha specification. It
has been created by using all the criticisms of XML over the last year.
A non-exhaustive list of its main features compared to XML 1.0 is that

    * only use UTF-8 (e.g. some W3C people) and so get rid of the
encoding header, numeric character references
    * get rid of PIs (e.g. TimB-L)
    * get rid of parameter entities (e.g., some schema people)
    * get rid of DTDs (e.g. many of the same people)
    * get rid of notations  (since no-one knows what they are for still)
    * get rid of entities (since XLink will replace them)
    * gets rid of  the ' as a literal delimiter
    * get rid of attributes (since all we need are elements)
    * get rid of IDs (since local names are old hat)
    * get rid of PUBLIC identifiers (since everything should be a URI)
    * get rid of CDATA sections (since they make grepping unsafe)
    * get rid of using the name of an element to key its type (i.e. you
have to use a namespace URI and the munged name)
    * get rid of elements and embedded markup (e.g. Ted Nelson)
    * get rid of chunks of Unicode through "early normalization" (e.g.,
the W3C I18n WG)
    * because the only delimiter is the comment delimiter, the need for
&amp; and &gt; is removed; because the string <!-- can be represented as
<!<@-- -->-- there is no need for &lt; either.

This gives us quite a nice markup language: XML 2.0alpha which consists
of only
    * data
    * comments, at user option

I propose that we should all spend the next 100 years discussing this,
and that every W3C specification in the mean time should try to
influence the outcome by supporting only the subset of XML 1.0 they
like, until concensus is reached by people outside the original
developers of XML.

Indeed, wise implementors should delay until XML 3.0.  There is talk
that allowing all these characters poses internationalization problems,
so it is possible that only ASCII characters may be used in the future.
Because of WAI reason, it may be that only visually distinct characters
may be allowed: so XML 3.0 will only consist of one or more occurrences
letters O and X.  This will provide substantial benefits for compression
and binary representation, as well as direct representation of certain

Rick Jelliffe

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