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Re: XHTML 1.0 spec (was Re: Call for contributions: new and improved "Web site quality" articles

From: Brian Kelly <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 21:21:21 +0100 (BST)
To: Bob Clary <bc@bclary.com>
Cc: public-evangelist@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GS4.4.58.0310022104170.22461@lamin.ukoln.ac.uk>

Hi Bob
   Thanks for the email.
   I understand your (and Jim's) rationale.  I got the impression at the
WWW 2003 conference that the problem with dodgy XHTML was to be addressed
with XHTML 2.0. Anyway I don't have any disagreements with the logic of
your position.
   I guess my current interest is in the deployment of the application/xml
MIME type in a University server environment (typically a mixture of XHTML
and HTML; PHP, etc).
   Thinking about it makes me wonder if the advice on format independent
URIs ties in with MIME type mapping.
   BTW the reason I'm using XHTML 1.0 is (1) to gain experience of
problems - as I'm now finding; (2) to be able to use XSLT to transform
the resources (e.g. to RSS) and (3) is the most recent W3C recommendation
for HTML and its use is preferred (this is my current understanding).
   I get the impression that this (esp. point 3) isn't your's (or Jim's
view).  I guess your position is that the best approach is
XHTML+application/xml (or whatever) and if you can't guarantee to provide
the MIME type (for whatever reason) you should stick with HTML 4. If this
is felt to be the best approach, shouldn't there be some advice on the QA
Library covering this?  As I pointed out in a previous message the XHTML 1
spec does allow text/html.  I think additional caveats about the denages
of this approach are needed.
   (My apols if this is going over old ground or slightly out of scope
for this list).


Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus
UKOLN, University of Bath, BATH, England, BA2 7AY
Email:  b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk     URL:    http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/
Homepage: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/ukoln/staff/b.kelly/
Phone:  01225 323943            FAX:   01225 826838

On Thu, 2 Oct 2003, Bob Clary wrote:

> Brian Kelly wrote:
> [snip]
> >
> > Note that an advantage with text/html is that the page will display if the
> > XHTML is invalid.  I think it would be difficult to sell the notion of
> > application/xml if an invalid file is not displayed (I appreciate the need
> > for compliance - this comment is about marketing XHTML.  One could argue
> > that HTML 4.0 is a more fault tolerant format that XHTML (I wouldn't say
> > that but others may).
> Brian,
> I really must chime in and agree with Jim about this.
> The point that he and I have been trying to make over some period of
> time is that the attitude that serving XHTML as text/html and allowing
> authors to get in the habit of authoring invalid XHTML all the while
> thinking it is ok will end up destroying the promise that is XHTML.
> One of the great advantages to authoring in XML and XHTML (as
> application/xhtml+xml) is that the documents must be well formed at the
> very least. To take the position that the requirement of well formed
> documents is a disadvantage and that any hodgepodge of markup should be
> displayed is antithetical to the entire idea behind XML.
> As Jim stated, I have not heard a good reason to use XHTML when it is
> served as text/html, especially when the content is not subject to a
> strict validation process.
> The reason I brought up the news.com site today was to illustrate the
> Bad Things(tm) that are happening to XHTML because of lack of a
> commitment to what XHTML really is... XML. Why are we recommending XHTML
> over HTML when all we expecting of the author is that they continue to
> author HTML as they always have?
> /bc
Received on Thursday, 2 October 2003 16:21:27 UTC

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