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Re: Intuitiveness and documentation of XHTML

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 17:55:03 -0500
Message-Id: <8586ADBD-4FB5-11D9-AE12-000A95718F82@w3.org>
To: John McLaren <fieldlab@yahoo.com>, 'public-evangelist@w3.org' <public-evangelist@w3.org>
Dear John,

Le 16 déc. 2004, à 11:43, John McLaren a écrit :
> A big problem with the W3C documentation is serious lack of practical 
> examples.

That is true. :)
But it's why I proposed the XHTML Best Practices Project at

You are welcome to participate and submit the first explanation for one 
element. That would be more than appreciated and it will help a lot of 

> Look at all the differences in the syntax requirements of XHTML.

Yes it's called simplification. The rules became stricter it's then 
easier to follow. As surprising as it can be, it's often for beginners 
a lot easier to follow a minimal set of rules which are always the 

	"All tags closed, all attributes with their value
	quoted, all element names and attributes in
	lowercase, etc. "

And I can even make an affirmation of that, because before working at 
W3C, I worked in a Web agency and before that in and I have taught W3C 
technologies. I can tell you that XHTML 1.0 is a lot easir to teach. I 
still have contacts with people teaching it… and it's still confirmed. 

In fact those who have more difficulties with XHTML are often old SGML 
riders. :))) [ As a note I have started with HTML+ and ancestors, it 
seems I succeeded making the transition ]

> ridiculous "/" requirements that any intelligent parser could 
> automatically

:) yes HTML Tidy can do that for you, if you really can't cope with it. 
Make your text in HTML 4.01 and you can convert it in XHTML 1.0. Just 
as reminder.
	HTML 4.01 (SGML) ---> XHTML 1.0 (XML)
And you can ensure you that there are plenty of tools that can deal 
with XML files. :)

> It's like a circular, self-justifying form of tech-elitism.

hehe it reminds me of comments when HTML appeared, and some people were 
using Word Processors like MacWrite. They were saying that HTML was 

> actually CONTINUING a development branch to maintain a DTD for a 
> simple, highly intuitive type of HTML document intended for 99% of the 
> people outside the W3C.

Well the 99% of the people outside of W3C and even inside should not 
hand-code HTML or XHTML. :) [Though I love to hand code but let's say 
I'm a bit weird. Even with this fact about me, I do not wish anyone to 
hand code]

But you are right many softwares have to improve their User Interface. 
But I think that a typewriter with a postal email address would have 
been a lot simpler way of replying to you, more than using this 
computer which is intrinsically overly complicated. I apologize for 
this note of humour, but you are right in a sense, things are getting 
more complex, sometimes, but it also helps us to achieve more things, 
even for the 99% people out there (think about horse->car, 
balloon->plane, typewriter->computer, etc.)

Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager
*** Be Strict To Be Cool ***

Received on Friday, 17 December 2004 01:57:50 UTC

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