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Suggested revised text for HTML/XML report intro

From: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2011 15:47:44 -0400
Message-ID: <4E42E060.9000603@arcanedomain.com>
To: "public-html-xml@w3.org" <public-html-xml@w3.org>
CC: Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org>
At one point recently I mentioned to Norm that I thought some of the 
concerns about the scope of our effort, and the lack of deeper proposals 
for improvements, might be addressed by improvements to the introduction of 
the report. Norm asked me to suggest text, and I offer this as a starting 
point. It should be clear from the first and last paragraphs where it fits 
in the existing text.

Against the backdrop of this tension, the TAG formed this Task Force in 
order to explore how interoperability between HTML and XML could be 
improved, and this report sets out the results of the Task Force's work.

The Task Force explored some approaches that would provide higher levels of 
compatibility than are discussed in the sections below. For example, 
consideration was given to proposals to produce new versions of the XML 
specification that would retain significant compatibility with XML as 
deployed today, but would provide more HTML-compatible processing, e.g. for 
documents that are not well formed. Unfortunately, the task force failed to 
discover any such approach that we expect would be widely accepted in 
practice. As shown by the failed attempt to deploy XML 1.1, XML is valued 
in part because of the high degree of compatibility among XML tool chains; 
if an XML document is processable by one application or tool, chances are 
excellent that it will work with others. Thus, the introduction of a new 
class of more HTML-compatible XML tends to undercut the very property that 
XML users value most: the new documents may be rejected or misinterpreted 
by existing XML tools and applications. Similarly, efforts to extend or 
adapt HTML5 to become more XML-compatible seem unlikely to meet with 
sufficiently widespread acceptance, at least at this time. So, with 
reluctance, the task force reports that no structural changes could be 
identified that would  significantly increase the compatibility of the two 
stacks, and also be deployable in practice.

The task force did carefully analyze a set of use cases, and concluded that 
substantial opportunities do exist today for using HTML and XML 
technologies together.  Details are provided in the sections below. Readers 
are particularly encouraged to report additional use cases that they feel 
are not represented or specific examples where the solutions outlined are 
not appropriate.


I hope this is helpful, at least as a starting point. I also think that 
Larry's concerns may be somewhat better addressed if we could provide some 
deeper discussion and better illustrative examples of some of the polyglot 
issues, I.e. what's likely to work, what's not, and where we can reasonably 
expect adoption. I'm afraid I am not sufficiently knowledgeable of the 
details to offer anything specific.


Thank you
Received on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 19:48:12 UTC

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