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Re: cross manual references in html manuals

From: Dumas Patrice
Subject: Re: cross manual references in html manuals
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 15:26:40 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

On Tue, May 27, 2003 at 08:52:24AM -0400, Karl Berry wrote:
>     characters instead of %. For example %7e%22%23 becomes _7e_22_23 
> Sorry, but I'm confused.  Are we talking about what goes inside the href
> in <a href="foo">?  If so, then why aren't we doing standard html
> escaping with %'s?  Why are you escaping the %'s into _'s?  For XHTML?

Yes, for xhtml. Indeed % escaped sequences may be used in href= attributes,
thus this is right on the side of a manual generating cross refs to another 
one, but on the side of the target of the cross ref, if anchors are to 
be used, xhtml restricts to [A-Za-z0-9-_].

>     > > Yes, it cannot be valid xhtml. In xhtml, only [A-Za-z0-9-_] are 
>     > > acceptable as text for the name= or id= attributes.
> Do you have any idea why the xhtml committee created such a horrible
> backwards incompatibility?  (They created others as well, I know from
> our previous attempts to output xhtml that was compatible with html, but
> this is a new one.)  I guess to be XML "compliant".  What a crock.

My guess is that they wanted to use the ID type for id attribute (such that
the attribute value is unique in the document), and they restricted the
name= in the same way.
> So in that case, to support xhtml, I guess we have to do what you
> suggest, and escape everything with _'s, as in _7e_22_23.  It is ugly
> and silly, but the alternatives I see are to not support XHTML (probably
> not realistic, long term), or to have different xref rules for HTML and
> XHTML (sounds even uglier).

It seems to me that xhtml should be supported in the long term as it is an
interesting format which can be easily extended.
And using _ instead of % isn't that much worse. The advantage of % was that
browser could interpret the escaped sequences.

> In practice, I feel sure there will be *many* complications.  I don't
> intend to work on this any time soon.

I will try to redo a proposal anyway taking into account all that was said.


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