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Re: Version information

From: Eric Daspet <eric.daspet@survol.fr>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 00:43:05 +0200
Message-ID: <461EB5F9.3090300@survol.fr>
CC: public-html@w3.org, ian@hixie.ch

Ian Hickson a écrit :
> SGML/XML aren't relevant to this discussion, as we're not talking about 
> the SGML or XML serialisations of HTML, but the text/html serialistion.

I didn't notice that the "short" doctype may not be valid in a pure xml 
or sgml serialisation.

SGML and XML serialisation are relevant here in my humble opinion.

If we use the "short" doctype <!DOCTYPE html> we will confuse people who 
are used to xml, sgml and/or html4. The doctype will not appears "valid" 
or "as usual" for them.
We will have a hard time to explain why we have two (or more) possible 
doctype, one for the html serialisation and one for the xml/sgml 
serialisation. Again, we will confuse people.
As a direct consequence we will see with documents in html serialisation 
with a doctype from xml serialisation, and xml serialisations with a 
doctype from html serialisation.

*IF* we decide we need a doctype, we need to have a doctype which will 
be exactly the same in all serialisations. Therefore we will need a 
doctype valid in sgml as in xml.

All this is true for both "doctype with version" and "doctype without 
version" arguments.



But, again, why do we really want to require a doctype in the document ?
- Doctype may be usefull to SGML but we trash SGML as a need and no 
modern browser use the DTD.
- Doctype may be usefull to versionning but you advice not to version html.
- Doctype may be usefull to editors but a schema / relaxng will be 
better and a direct support by the editor is certainly the way to go 
(and not a dtd expliclitly in the document).

I left only one usage : versionning. Doctype switching is a kind of 
versionning. Triggering a "new standard mode for html 5+" is also some 
kind of versionning (and we will face the same problems for html 6, so a 
"new new standard mode" will be needed in future).

Is doctype the better solution for versionning ? A simple "version" 
attribute in the <html> tag is simplier and does not interfer with 
serialisations. We can even name it "standard-mode" instead of "version" 
if we really want a single shot switching and not a versionning.


-- 
Éric Daspet
http://eric.daspet.name/
Received on Thursday, 12 April 2007 22:43:07 UTC

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