W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-xml@w3.org > August 2011

RE: Suggested revised text for HTML/XML report intro

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 03:18:11 -0700
To: John Cowan <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
CC: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, "public-html-xml@w3.org" <public-html-xml@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C68CB012D9182D408CED7B884F441D4D05D41A7D83@nambxv01a.corp.adobe.com>
Could you expand a bit on this? 

Why is it not possible to define XHTML  (or whatever) such that there is a mapping from HTML (malformed or not) to XHTML, such that browsers would treat the resulting XHTML identically(or at least equivalently) to the original?

What are the cases where that is not true, how serious are the difficulties of mapping or the irreducible differences in treatment? How important are those differences, or how often does one actually encounter HTML that isn't mappable?

Independent of the malformed issues, are the differences in DOMs so irreducible? Could the DOM incompatibilities be reduced by, say, adding features to the XML DOM?

I was hoping the task force report would be more explicit about the current understanding of the differences.  


-----Original Message-----
From: John Cowan [mailto:cowan@ccil.org] On Behalf Of John Cowan
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:45 AM
To: Noah Mendelsohn
Cc: Anne van Kesteren; public-html-xml@w3.org; Larry Masinter
Subject: Re: Suggested revised text for HTML/XML report intro

Noah Mendelsohn scripsit:

> Hmm. First of all, I certainly would be glad to find out that XML5    
> could "work", and be widely accepted; it's just the sort of direction 
> I was hoping the task force would find to be practical.               

I continue to believe that XML5 is not practical because of the generality of XML.  Malformed HTML can be repaired on the principle of "change it to be well-formed HTML that browsers will treat identically to the original."  No equivalent principle exists for XML, because there are no privileged XML-processing applications; the canonical application for XML depends on the variety of XML, and may not even exist for many varieties.

John Cowan   cowan@ccil.org    http://ccil.org/~cowan
If a soldier is asked why he kills people who have done him no harm, or a terrorist why he kills innocent people with his bombs, they can always reply that war has been declared, and there are no innocent people in an enemy country in wartime.  The answer is psychotic, but it is the answer that humanity has given to every act of aggression in history.  --Northrop Frye
Received on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 10:19:08 UTC

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