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

Julian Reschke <> Mon, 01 March 2021 08:39 UTC

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From: Julian Reschke <>
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Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2021 09:33:57 +0100
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Subject: Re: [xml2rfc] assuming that period (.) ends a sentence is sometimes wrong
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Am 28.02.2021 um 23:07 schrieb Carsten Bormann:
> ...
> So this is about sentence detection, not about sentence spacing.
> (Which in turn can make use of sentence spacing in the input, but that is orthogonal.)
> I’m trying to understand why the traditional method doesn’t work.
> There is never any ambiguity with traditional keyboarding (a new line starts after a sentence); except that one has to be careful not to do an input line-break after [.!?] that is within a sentence.
> The question is whether there is a need to accommodate multiple sentences per input line for proper sentence detection.
> People differ in their style here.
> The newline after a sentence rule helps with version control as well, so I have a strong preference for that style.
> But for people who like running on on the same input line, the two-space convention has been working well.
> XML may not "preserve whitespace”, but what that exactly means here is not clear to me.

XML parsers *do* preserve whitespace in element contents.

The tricky part is changing *applications* that use XML from one content
model (whitespace is insignifant) to another model (whitespace is
"mostly" insignificant) after the fact.

I also fear that we'll end up with *other* edge cases then.

For instance, if I have this source:

    PGP is a family of software systems developed by Philip R.
    Zimmermann from which OpenPGP is based.

Is the "R." a sentence end?

> Double spaces in XML input are copied verbatim into the HTML (where they then are swallowed by the HTML processor), so it is not like the processor is not seeing them.

But do they survive the preptool step? If so, that would IMHO be a bug.

> ...

Best regards, Julian