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Re: let authors choose text/html or application/xhtml+xml (detailed review of section 1. Introduction)

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 00:25:44 -0400
Message-ID: <e9dffd640708302125sb7a1968x32b46a58a9c60356@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>

Greetings HTML WG,

On 8/30/07, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org> wrote:
> Regarding this paragraph:
> "XHTML documents (XML documents using elements from the HTML namespace)
> that use the new features described in this specification and that are
> served over the wire (e.g. by HTTP) must be sent using an XML MIME type
> such as application/xml or application/xhtml+xml and must not be served
> as text/html."
> XHTML documents served as text/html result in interoperable behavior
> in typical cases, so that constraint is too strong. Please change
> it to "SHOULD be sent..." and "SHOULD NOT be served...".

I agree that some XHTML documents can be correctly interpreted as HTML
documents, but I'm more concerned that the phrasing seems to suggest
an unconventional relationship between media types and document
formats.  Consider that it should be perfectly acceptable to transfer
an HTML or XHTML document with HTTP using a text/plain media type, so
long as its realized that doing so means that the message no longer
HTML or XHTML semantics.

Also, I don't think "using an XML MIME type such as" is specific
enough, because types such as application/rdf+xml obviously aren't
appropriate.  As for application/xml, well, it isn't universally
understood[1] that the root namespace is special so I wouldn't
recommend its use.  That might change in the future, but for now, I'd
leave it out.  One media type should be good enough anyhow.

Plus - minor nit - they're now called "media types" rather than "MIME
types", but some folks don't know that so we should probably use both

So, incorporating all of the above, we're left with something like this;

"In order to use the new features described in this specification,
publishers should serve their XHTML documents (XML documents using
elements from the HTML namespace) using the application/xhtml+xml
media (aka MIME) type instead of text/html."

Mark Baker.  Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.         http://www.markbaker.ca
Coactus; Web-inspired integration strategies  http://www.coactus.com
Received on Friday, 31 August 2007 04:25:52 UTC

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