Re: [xml2rfc] assuming that period (.) ends a sentence is sometimes wrong

Nico Williams <> Sat, 27 February 2021 16:09 UTC

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Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2021 10:09:27 -0600
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From: Nico Williams <>
To: Daniel Kahn Gillmor <>
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Subject: Re: [xml2rfc] assuming that period (.) ends a sentence is sometimes wrong
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On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 09:44:09PM -0500, Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:
> The toolchain to build draft-ietf-openpgp-crypto-refresh produces XML
> that contains:

There are only two possible correct answers, but historically it is
impossible to get agreement on adopting either:

 - mark-up sentences, e.g.,

     <sentence>D. K. G. wrote a post.</sentence>
     <sentence>This follow-up might be controversial.</sentence>

 - follow sentence-ending periods with two spaces (which does not mean
   the the rendered output must also do the same, as it could use a wide
   space instead), e.g.,

     D. K. G. wrote a post.  This follow-up might be controversial.

   i.e., `.  ` as a sort of mark-up

Instead many developers prefer to code up imperfect heuristics for
sentence ending periods.  If you search relevant archives (e.g., this
list's) you'll find that this is a periodic discussion.

I myself am quite used to always following every sentence period with
two spaces.  (In smart phone text input boxes that's a huge pain
because, at least on mine they turn two spaces typed in quick succession
into a period and space.)

Don your asbestos suits now.  Flame war incoming.