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

Re: Use cases

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2011 11:32:29 -0500
Message-ID: <4D25EE9D.2090202@intertwingly.net>
To: Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>
CC: public-html-xml@w3.org
On 01/06/2011 09:48 AM, Norman Walsh wrote:
> Sam Ruby<rubys@intertwingly.net>  writes:
>>>> Meanwhile, many users of Planet Venus are serving their content as
>>>> text/html. And I continue to have no way to prevent such. Nor do I
>>>> have any desire to do so.
>>> I have no problem with that. I have a problem with resources pretending
>>> to be different things depending on the interpreting user agent.
>> I partly share that.  Like you, I view as a problem whenever anybody
>> makes the statement "my content is XHTML served as text/html".  That
>> being said, I do not see statements of the form "my content is XHTML
>> but degrades gracefully" as a problem.
> Are those two different ways to describe the same thing (bits+media
> type), or are those actually two different things? (That's a perfectly
> sincere question, I'm really not sure.)

Given that I made two statements, I'm not sure what you are asking.

Background: I've seen way too many discussions where somebody who is 
producing a web page that contains an XHTML strict doctype followed by a 
document that is not well formed and served as text/html insists that 
their content is XHTML.  Those discussions generally don't end up being 
very productive as there is no common understanding of the terms used.

Observing those discussions, I don't believe that the DOCTYPE is what 
makes content XHTML.  I also don't believe that well-formedness is 
either -- it is a necessary condition, but not sufficient.

I do believe that the mime type is a decisive factor.  By that I mean 
that any content that is served as text/html to any of the browsers that 
people today use will not be parsed as XHTML no matter what you place in 
the response body.

The contents of my weblog are served as application/xhtml+xml to user 
agents that support such, and as text/html to everybody else.  In the 
first case, the content is valid XHTML5.  In the latter, valid HTML5. 
In both cases, the response bodies are byte for byte identical.

Despite being byte for byte identical response bodies, the responses are 
two different things, and result in DOMs with detectable differences.

>                                          Be seeing you,
>                                            norm

- Sam Ruby
Received on Thursday, 6 January 2011 16:34:01 UTC

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