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

From: Dean Edridge <dean@55.co.nz>
Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2007 00:50:56 +1200
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <46D80EB0.1030003@55.co.nz>

Dan Connolly 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...".
> for reference:
> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/
> 24 August 2007
> 1.218 Fri Aug 24 22:56:42 2007 UTC
> and
> [[
> 6. Guidance in the use of these Imperatives
>    Imperatives of the type defined in this memo must be used with care
>    and sparingly.  In particular, they MUST only be used where it is
>    actually required for interoperation or to limit behavior which has
>    potential for causing harm (e.g., limiting retransmisssions)  For
>    example, they must not be used to try to impose a particular method
>    on implementors where the method is not required for
>    interoperability.
> ]]
>  -- http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt
How much longer do we need to go on pretending that XHTML can be sent as 
text/html Dan? This is ridiculous. Hasn't the W3C learnt it's lesson 
with XHTML's failure over the last 8 years.

Exactly who benefits from the myth of XHTML being able to be sent as 
text/html? Not you, me, the W3c or anyone, and certainly not XHTML it 
self. So what's the incentive for misleading people like this? Is it 
because the W3C doesn't want to admit it got it wrong? Unfortunately, as 
of today, XHTML can be described as a failure and all the valid XHTML 
sites in the world could be listed on one small piece of paper. One of 
the main reasons for this is because the W3C hasn't made it clear to 
developers and browser manufacturers that it's the media-type 
("application/xhtml+xml") that people need to get used to, not just the 
XML syntax of XHTML, and it's the media-type that makes the document 
XHTML. That's right, because of this millions of people out there are 
thinking that there web documents are valid XHTML, but they're not, they 
are in fact invalid HTML.

If you think that a XHTML document can be sent as text/html and still be 
XHTML then can you please tell me what exactly makes that document XHTML?
It's not the Doctype, and it's not the solidus in the br tags either is 
it. So what is it?
Answer: Nothing, it's not XHTML. As soon as the document is given the 
media type "text/html" it becomes a HTML document, simple as that.

Dean Edridge
Received on Friday, 31 August 2007 12:51:18 UTC

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