#PCDATA Means What?

An observant reader wrote in to say that while the grammar makes clear that the keyword #PCDATA is used to signal mixed content, the spec says nothing about where that magic word comes from. The # is there because it can't be used in a Name, so #PCDATA could never be the type of a child element. The string PCDATA itself stands for "Parsed Character Data". It is another inheritance from SGML; in this usage, "parsed" means that the XML processor will read this text looking for markup signaled by < and & characters.

Back-link to spec

Copyright © 1998, Tim Bray. All rights reserved.