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XML Information Set enters Last Call

Date:      Fri, 02 Feb 2001 11:06:42 -0600
From:      Paul Grosso <>
Subject:   XML Information Set enters Last Call

On behalf of the XML Core Working Group, I am pleased to announce the publication of The XML Information Set specification Last Call Working Draft:

        XML Information Set (Infoset)
        W3C Last Call Working Draft 2 February 2001

The Last Call review period ends 23 February 2001. Please send review comments before that date to


Because there was an earlier Last Call, the XML Core WG would like to point out that there has been a change in design principle for the current specification. Please read the introduction carefully where, among other things, it states:

[This specification's] purpose is to provide a consistent set of definitions for use in other specifications that need to refer to the information in a well-formed XML document [XML].

It does not attempt to be exhaustive; the primary criterion for inclusion of an information item or property has been that of expected usefulness in future specifications.

In particular, that means that inclusion in the Infoset was driven more by the intersection of what other specifications needed, not the union, and omission of something from the Infoset does not mean that a particular specification (e.g., the DOM, XML Schema, XML Query) could not define new infoitems and require that processors conforming to their specification must support such infoitems. We viewed this version of the Infoset as a "library of definitions to facilitate the writing of other specifications" rather than a definitive universe of all information in an XML document.

Specific feedback request

Though feedback is solicited on the entire specification, there is one area where the WG did not have consensus and on which feedback is particularly desired. Sections 2.16 and 2.17 of the spec define cdata start and end marker information items. The WG could not reach consensus on whether these two info items should be left in the spec or deleted from it. These items having been in much earlier drafts of the infoset (and the previous Last Call version), the chair ruled that the status quo would hold for this Last Call draft and that feedback would be requested.

See the following two publicly viewable comments (and any followup that may appear in the archive) for position statements on this topic:


This specification provides a set of definitions for use in other specifications that need to refer to the information in an XML document.

Status of this Document

Though this specification has already had a Last Call review on an earlier version [1], in light of the review and much discussion, the XML Core Working Group has reworked the specification. The WG invites public comment on this new Last Call draft. The Last Call period ends on 23 February 2001.

Comments on this specification are invited and should be sent to the public mailing list An archive is available at

For background on this work, please see the XML Activity Statement [2]. This specification is a product of the XML Core Working Group [3].

See the XML Information Set Requirements [4] for the specific requirements that informed development of this specification.

Paul Grosso for the XML Core WG


Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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