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Re: XML Guidelines -04

On Wednesday 05 June 2002 12:44 pm, Tim Bray wrote:
> Martin predicts that IETF protocol content will be "mostly ASCII", which
> implies that (a) it's in a European language, or (b) the density of
> markup is very high, and markup names are constrained to be in European
> languages.  This seems like a really risky prediction to me as I look
> around the world, but maybe I'm missing something.  Is the reason
> obvious to others?

I agree with Martin's prediction.

I think if you survey the landscape of tag names, you'll find convention and 
interoperability forces people toward using a subset of the ASCII character 
set. For document markup, I personally find this a great shame...

For protocols to benefit greatly from XML, interoperability is critical, as 
is developer acceptance. One (somewhat modern) level of interoperability is 
"the developer eyeball test". If people can't "eyeball" it, they won't use it 
(The Art of Programming refers to this). As such, I think there'll be even 
greater pressure on protocols to use ASCII markup, and to use UTF8 (as Martin 
pointed out).

FWIW. Both Rick and I have talked about the issues and benefits of 
natural/native language markup in the past (circa 1994), and pointed out the 
pressures faced when markup is exposed to a multilingual community. I think 
time has (unfortunately) proven the assertion that you need to think 
carefully before adopting native language markup.

This could be placed in the "be conservative in what you produce" bucket at 
the IETF...