[whatwg] xml:space

Křištof Želechovski giecrilj at stegny.2a.pl
Mon Apr 28 05:05:52 PDT 2008

This issue is not limited to PRE, nor is PRE the main application.  
There are numerous community Web sites 
that allow the users to submit hypertext content.  
You often get <I >italic </I ><B >bold</B > after you submit 
unless you use a zero-width non-joiner between them.
While this is not strictly a HTML problem, 
allowing xml:space would allow a workaround for broken CMS.


-----Original Message-----
From: whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org
[mailto:whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org] On Behalf Of Ian Hickson
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 3:29 AM
To: Henri Sivonen; liorean; Anne van Kesteren; Martin Atkins
Cc: whatwg
Subject: Re: [whatwg] xml:space

I haven't done anything with xml:space. It doesn't do anything, and it's 
not an HTML5 thing, so as far as I can tell it is out of scope for HTML5.

On Mon, 22 Jan 2007, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> > 
> > Since this editor artifact is harmless in browsers and useful in 
> > editors, it would be nice if the spec made it conforming at least on 
> > the <pre> element in XHTML5.
> Suggested text:
> The xml:space attribute may be used on XHTML elements of XML documents. 
> Authors must not use the xml:space attribute in HTML documents. The 
> xml:space attribute, if present, must have the literal value "default" 
> or the literal value "preserve". The meaning of this attribute is 
> outside the scope of this specification.
> If that's too permissive, here's what would minimally cover my use case: 
> In XHTML (but not in HTML), the element pre may have the attribute 
> xml:space. If the attribute is present, the value of the attribute must 
> be "preserve".
> The first conforms to XML 1.0 for sure. The latter may not exactly, 
> depending on spec interpretation.

I don't see why we should special-case this particular harmless non-HTML 
feature, and not any number of other harmless non-HTML features. If 
another specification wants to define something, then it's up to that 
specification to define when it can be used.

On Tue, 23 Jan 2007, Martin Atkins wrote:
> Presumably its primary purpose is to act as a signal to generic XML 
> tools - that don't have any special knowledge about XHTML - that 
> they should not screw around with the whitespace inside PRE, etc.
> One obvious example of such a tool is an XML pretty-printer. While an 
> HTML pretty-printer like HTML Tidy can have rules "hard-coded" into it, 
> this is not true of a non-validating XML formatter unless it is 
> specifically written for XHTML.

It seems that given the importance of XHTML, we can expect pretty printers 
to be written for it.

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