W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-evangelist@w3.org > May 2005

Re: Valid XML

From: Pid <webmaster@neutralgrey.net>
Date: Sat, 21 May 2005 18:23:25 +0100
Message-ID: <428F6E8D.1000405@neutralgrey.net>
To: "'public-evangelist@w3.org' w3. org" <public-evangelist@w3.org>

I was rather hoping this would have finished by now.
But as it hasn't:

1) "... in some way or other ..."
a general, catch all, which i intended to cover a multitude of sins, and 
encompasses Karl's point.

2) "... good  habits for the future ..."
which I believe answers the point about 'why bother'.

This discussion has referenced applications and websites that have low 
quality implementations of the specifications.
Site and application authors who produce mangled HTML or XHTML should be 
encouraged to tidy up their code, either by carrot or stick, I don't 
mind which.

Furthermore: while highly technical discussions can be interesting, it's 
often better when they're productive.

As Karl has recently answered Vincent's original question, I won't 
address it again, other than to suggest that we should consider 
publishing a "common misunderstandings" page, assuming there isn't one 
already*. The "Should I send XHTML as text/html?" question comes up over 
and over again, and often produces heated discussion, not least of which 
because of one well-known statement, "Sending XHTML as text/html 
Considered Harmful" - which has probably done more to confuse 
Joe-web-designer than any single other thing (in my view)**.

We should take advantage of IE's laxness to advance the cause, not 
cripple ourselves by insisting on strict adherence to some moral principal.

It's worth noting that it's considerably easier to make a small change 
to the mime-type setup of your webserver, instantly sending all/some 
.html as app/xhtml+xml, than it is to rewrite all your html docs - when 
a browser with suitable capabilties is available/popular.  Server 
modules and content negotiation can make this possible in a dynamic 
environment, selectively or as required.

So: instead of saying 'why should we?', let's say 'why not?', and save 
ourselves a bunch of work convincing the rest of the world that we know 
what we're talking about.

I yield the floor to whoever wants the last word really, really badly.


*   I don't know the site that well, forgive me.

** Hixie lists 6 sequential items early on, which assume much: not least 
of which seems to be that we aren't capable of learning from our 
mistakes. The gist of his point seems to be that "Using text/html for 
XHTML is bad, because at some unspecified point in the future an XHTML 
author will become upset when the mime-type is changed.".

<sarcasm>Well, STOP EVERYTHING. You may now begin to panic.</sarcasm>

While he does suggest solutions to most of the problems, unfortunately 
your average learner only remembers the "harmful" bit.

Patrick H. Lauke wrote:

> Karl Dubost wrote:
>>> It's well established that the popular UA's handle XHTML badly, in  
>>> some way or other.
>> Again no. :)
>> popular UAs handle badly "XHTML 1.0" and "XHTML 1.1" served with  
>> _application/xhtml+xml_
> ...
>> It's why I haven't recommended in its long thread to use XHTML 1.1,  
>> and I have insisted on "XHTML 1.0 (text/html)".
> Actually, as demonstrated before (where IE gets confused when an empty 
> script element is minimised - perfectly valid under XHTML 1.0), the 
> dominant browser only understands *compatible* XHTML 1.0 (as per 
> appendix C) sent as text/html. At which stage, I can understand why 
> some people are wondering: "why bother? why not use HTML 4.01 instead?"



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Received on Saturday, 21 May 2005 17:23:26 UTC

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