W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-appformats@w3.org > August 2006

Re: XHTML and MIME (was: IBM Position Statement on XForms and Web Forms 2.0)

From: L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 16:36:26 -0700
To: public-appformats@w3.org, www-forms@w3.org
Message-ID: <20060831233626.GA20217@ridley.dbaron.org>
On Thursday 2006-08-31 18:27 -0400, Doug Schepers wrote:
> There seems to be a major divide between people who believe that XHTML
> cannot or should not be used on the Web (largely because IE does not yet
> understand it), and those that believe it can and should.
> Ian Hickson, the champion of the first camp, has outlined his position [1]
> in a paper that seems to be the seminal claim for the notion that XHTML
> cannot be served with the "text/html" MIME Type.  This paper is often cited,

I think this summary tries to condense three separate issues into one:

1. Should XHTML be used on the Web?

2. Should authors send XHTML content under the text/html MIME type?

3. When authors send XHTML content under the text/html MIME type,
   should browsers treat it differently from other text/html?

Trying to discuss these three issues as a single issue will just lead to
confusion and misunderstanding.  (They are related, however.)

The document of Ian Hickson's that you cite [1] is a position on
question #2.

The HTML working group answered question #3 in [2] (answer: no),
although it was unanswered in the original XHTML1 recommendation.  I
think this was a mistake (although I didn't feel as strongly about it at
the time).


> [1] http://www.hixie.ch/advocacy/xhtml 
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2000Sep/0024

[ I trimmed www-archive from the recipient list; www-archive exists to
archive messages not sent to other lists, so there's no point cc:ing
it. ]

L. David Baron                                <URL: http://dbaron.org/ >
           Technical Lead, Layout & CSS, Mozilla Corporation

Received on Thursday, 31 August 2006 23:36:53 UTC

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