XML Entity Declarations for Characters


This document describes an updated set of entity definitions, and corresponding HTML tables and descriptions of entity definitions that may be used to refer to characters by name in XML documents. It is derived from the entity definitions used in MathML but the use of these characters is not restricted to mathematics, and the use of these entity definitons by other XML languages is encouraged.

In addition, an XSLT file corresponding to the XSLT 2 specification is provided for each entity set. This will, if imported into an XSLT 2 stylesheet, cause characters in the result document to be output using these entities (this is only possible for entities whose definition consists of a single character). In order to simplify loading full sets of these, a stylesheet is provided in each group of entity sets that simply imports the stylesheets corresponding to each entity file, and defines a combined character map. Further details of character maps can be found in the XSLT 2.0 Recommendation.

Note that the current definitions are in a draft stage, and may be updated to reflect comments from reviewers. Comments should be sent to the www-math mailing list (archives).

Current Draft

The editors' draft is available from this site. Note that this is an Editors' Draft which has NOT, in this form, been submitted to the W3C document review process.

The most recent public working draft published by the W3C Math WG is always available from http://www.w3.org/tr/xml-entity-names.

The above documents link to all the generated DTD entity declarations and stylesheets, or direct access can be made to the generated files and source files.

Older Distributions

The initial distribution from this area, in 2003, made use of Unicode 3.x (rather than Unicode 5.x) and is not now recommended, however the files may still be referenced by documents and are still available, Seversal separate collections were previously made available, which have been merged into a unified collection in the current release: ISO 8879, ISO/IEC TR 9573 part 13 (1991) ISO/IEC DTR 9573 (2003), MathML, XHTML 1.x.

There is a proposal to update ISO/IEC TR 9573 to include the entity sets from ISO 8879 that were not included in the previous edition, and to incorporate standard definitions in terms of Unicode/ISO 10646 code points. (The earlier versions used SGML SDATA entity defintitions which are not available in XML.)

The 2003 release of these entity sets was accompanied by a proposed draft of ISO/IEC TR 9573 which was processed by the first stage of the JTC 1 document review process. It is still hoped to update the ISO Technical Report at some time, however there are apparently competing time pressures, which means that currently this document is not being prcessed through the ISO procedures. The draft that was submitted in 2003 is still available: (PDF), (HTML)


Initial release
Update definitions to match MathML2 Second Edition.
Include XSLT 2 (draft) stylesheets implementing character maps
Include PUBLIC Identifiers on generated entity declaration files
Use Unicode/ISO 10646 U+ notation in the TR 9573 draft update where appropriate.
Update to new "2007" release, based on Unicode 5.1 (beta), as used in MathML3 drafts.
Reference published version of the document in TR space.

Maintained by David Carlisle:
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