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

From: Philip Taylor (Webmaster) <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 18:22:36 +0100
Message-ID: <46D84E5C.4040307@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
CC: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>

Robert Burns wrote:

> I still don't understand how we disagree here. For any specification the 
> issue of what is or is not valid has to be a part of the conversation. 
> Disabling null end tags in a hypothetical HTML 4.02 DTD makes the use of 
> <br /> valid HTML 4.02 (and valid SGML). It's also already valid XHTML 
> 1. So I'm not sure where we have a disagreement here. Are you just 
> saying you don't want null end tags disabled in HTML? Then that's just 
> another part of the language that we discuss, deliberate and work out 
> (the same as deciding whether it should have a P element).

I don't think it's really a matter of what I want, it's
more an issue of the logic (or lack thereof) behind it.
Ever since HTML was created (as a dialect of SGML),
NETs have been a part of the language.  The fact that
few if any browsers actually implemented them is neither
here nor there : documents that used them correctly
were valid (modulo other things), those that used
them incorrectly were invalid (-- ditto --).

Now there is a suggestion that NETs could
be removed w.e.f. *HTML 4.02 (which isn't within our
aegis, strictly speaking), but to what end ?  To allow
documents that were previously invalid to become valid,
if the DOCTYPE werechanged ?  What sort of reason is
that ?  Or is it more that some XHTML documents could
then be valid HTML documents ?  Again, to what end ?

Even worse (assuming that browsers do not alter their
behaviour based on the DOCTYPE, much as I would like
them so to do), you would end up with a situation in
which an HTML 4.01 document using <meta ... /> in
the head region would be flagged as "invalid" by
the validator, whilst an *HTML 4.02 document with
exactly the same markup would be flagged as valid,
yet both would render identically in an HTML 5 compliant
browser.  Could we really explain that to the
web-page-author-on-the-number-57-Clapham-Common-omnibus ?!

Received on Friday, 31 August 2007 17:23:07 UTC

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