Re: Syntax

"Clive D.W. Feather" <clive@demon.net> Thu, 11 January 2007 15:03 UTC

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Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 15:03:19 +0000
From: "Clive D.W. Feather" <clive@demon.net>
To: Frank Ellermann <nobody@xyzzy.claranet.de>
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Subject: Re: Syntax
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Frank Ellermann said:
>> I simply think that inventing new notations without taking
>> care of non-ASCII characters is a good idea.

I hope you meant "... is *NOT* a good idea"?

> ASCII is to some degree comptible with a future extension to
> UTF-8.  With more or less obscure escape mechanisms we could
> pick a bad idea.
>  
>> I think that what I proposed *was* native UTF-8.
> 
> Then we agree that we don't want any escape mechanisms _now_
> with a chance to change our mind later if ABNF or RFCs would
> go this way (I doubt it, but it's not absolutely clear).

I would be happy to just allow native UTF-8 at present. However, if we
don't reserve an escape character in quoted strings now, we can never do so
in the future. I had reservations about using & as the escape character.

Actually, on second thoughts, that's not quite true. We could do escaping
via concatenation of constructs, something like:

    "This: " || &#1234; || " is an escaped character."

The main purpose of escape mechanisms is to allow parsers to be represented
in pure ASCII even when they contain non-ASCII characters. If we don't see
that as a requirement, then we don't need escape mechanisms as far as I can
see.

-- 
Clive D.W. Feather  | Work:  <clive@demon.net>   | Tel:    +44 20 8495 6138
Internet Expert     | Home:  <clive@davros.org>  | Fax:    +44 870 051 9937
Demon Internet      | WWW: http://www.davros.org | Mobile: +44 7973 377646
THUS plc            |                            |

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