XML 1.1 Working Draft Published
10:35, 14 Dec 2001 UTC | Leigh Dodds

The publication of the Blueberry requirements caused a great deal of debate during the summer. The requirements are aimed at removing some limitations facing users wanting to produce fully native markup, by extending the allowable range of XML name characters; allowing NEL as a legal line end character was also included to make life easier for some IBM mainframe users.

The debate raged between those who believed Blueberry offered marginal benefits, and those who considered full Unicode support to be a requirement for fully internationalized markup. Many also expressed the desire to see the changes incorporate more substantial features.

The XML 1.1 Working Draft is essentially a list of changes to the XML 1.0 specification. A new version number has been specified, rather than issuing a 'third edition' because the changes affect the basic definition of well-formedness. Any Unicode character not expressly forbidden is now permitted as part of a name, opening the door for many weird and wonderful tag names.

The publication announcement on the XML-DEV mailing was met with less than a fanfare, and even faced derision from some contributors. Rick Jelliffe invited people to just ignore it:

I see XML 1.1 is out, and it is so crazy that it is funny. My considered recommendation is we all have a good laugh, and then forget about it.

By allowing any character in names, it means that we can have WF XML 1.1 documents which merely opening in a text editor (even an editor for the document encoding) will corrupt with a well-formedness error: if people use characters in names which may be split at by automated line-wrapping. A markup language which safe practise is to *never* open an entity in a text editor? Excellent advance!

Michael Kay expressed disappointment that XML 1.1 won't bring XML Namespaces into the core specification:

...since all the other important specs like InfoSet and XPath now work only with namespace-conformant documents, it seems rather pointless to introduce an XML 1.1 that not only continues to allow documents that aren't namespace conformant, but even (as far as I can see) retains the timid "please don't misuse the colon" wording of XML 1.0 second edition.

These comments show that earlier doubts about the worth of XML 1.1, particularly it's limited scope, are still prevalent. It seems certain that another lengthy round of debate will ensue.

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