[whatwg] Allowed characters in attribute names

Simon Pieters zcorpan at gmail.com
Wed Jun 13 03:22:27 PDT 2007

On Wed, 13 Jun 2007 11:15:53 +0200, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen at iki.fi> wrote:

> When you put non-ASCII in element or attribute names (or variable and  
> function names), you aren't really making your format (or software)  
> international. You are more likely to *nationalize* the document format  
> (or software) by creating a barrier for developers from outside your  
> locale.
> When you start doing a lot of stuff along the lines of smörgåsbord="" in  
> markup, you create a barrier of inconvenience for everyone else but  
> Swedes and Finns. That might be OK for you and me, but it won't be OK  
> for us when people start using something that our input methods and  
> cognitive background don't cover.
> Compare with Chinese in markup in UOF--a nationalized fork of ODF.
> (See http://blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh/archive/2007/05/22/uof-translator- 
> project.aspx )
> To keep markup internationally tractable, identifiers should use ASCII  
> only with English-based mnemonics.
>> What if you want to pass a paramater to a plugin with non-ASCII  
>> characters using <embed>?
> People who want that should readjust their wishes, in my opinion.

I agree with what you're saying, but I'm not sure if it makes sense to put  
this restriction on the HTML level. After all, the following is not  

    <object data="foo">
     <param name="smörgåsbord" value="">

Should that be made non-conforming too, for the same reasons?

What if there is plugin content that uses non-ASCII characters as  
parameters (and you didn't author it), should it be disallowed to author  
HTML content aimed at that plugin content?

Even if we allow only ASCII characters for attributes, the text in  
#writing still needs to be changed, because e.g. the underscore and 0-9  
characters are plausible in plugin parameters.

Simon Pieters

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