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From "J.Pietschmann" <j3322...@yahoo.de>
Subject Entities for characters references
Date Sun, 23 Jun 2002 18:31:13 GMT
Hi,
I'd like to quesstion the wisdom of adding the entity
definitions for characters.
Rationale:
- After a XML2XML transformation, the entities are lost
  anyway.
- Every sane person uses a somewhat XML-aware editor for
  editing xdocs, which can usually be configured to provide
  support for entering special characters.
- Usually, special characters are used rarely, and often
  even the entity name has to be looked up. Can look up the
  codepoint as well in this situation. Worse: my Unicode
  lookup database doesn't list entity names, only codepoints.
- The entity definitions add 5 files and >20k to read.
  This adds noticably to processing time. Compare to the size
  of most documents.
- Adding the entities virtually *requires* catalog support.
  (what's wrong with
    a: putting the entity definition files in the DTD directory
    b: putting the definitions in one file instead of 5?)
- Entities don't mix well with non-DTD validation.

Well, are the entities there just because "everybody does
it" and "some years ago, two people actually complained"
(probably about &nbsp; missing)?
Has somebody checked the whole lot of the Apache how often
the entities are actually used?

Don't get me wrong, supportiung entities for special characters
appears to require some not quite trivial expense, I'd like
to know whether there are actually benefits justifying this.

J.Pietschmann


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