W3C Submissions

Team Comment on the NEL Submission

W3C is pleased to receive the The [NEL] Newline Character submission from International Business Machines Corporation.

XML 1.0 specifies special handling and normalization for line-boundary character sequences, in an effort to control the complexity which results from the variety of ways in which different operating systems and software products mark line boundaries in data streams.

This submission describes an unfortunate but apparently reparable consequence of a design decision taken by the then SGML WG of the W3C in the fall of 1996 in specifying this part of XML 1.0, and outlines a simple and relatively non-intrusive means of making the necessary repair in a way compatible with related work.

Next Steps

This submission will be referred to the XML Core WG for action. In light of the background, which suggests that the design of this part of XML relies on what has turned out to be a false factual assumption, the XML Core WG may choose to include the suggested change (as well as a change specifying that PS and LS should be treated as space characters, and clarifying whether they should also be treated as line-separators) in XML.

In recommending that the proposal made in this submission be considered by the XML Core WG, this response takes no position on whether, if action is taken on this submission, it should be done as an erratum or as part of a future revision of XML.

Disclaimer: Placing a Submission on a Working Group agenda does not imply endorsement by the participants of the Working Group, nor does it guarantee that the Working Group will agree to take any specific action on a Submission.

The XML Core Working Group has the responsibility for deciding whether to modify the line-end handling rules of XML or to leave them unmodified in any future version of XML prepared by that Working Group.

C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, W3C Team, 14 March 2001