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

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 13:35:58 -0400
Message-ID: <46D8517E.2000800@us.ibm.com>
To: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
CC: Dean Edridge <dean@55.co.nz>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>

Mark Baker wrote:
> On 8/31/07, Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com> wrote:
>> I continue to believe that the specification should define a canonical
>> media type of "application/html" for the SGML inspired serialization of
>> HTML5 and then proceed to define appropriate content sniffing rules for
>> "text/html".
> 
> I don't expect that would solve anything.  Browser vendors sniff
> content largely because they think they need to (silently) fix
> publisher mistakes.  What would be their motivation for stopping that
> practice for application/html?

One can have a nihilistic approach to all this, and decide that 
content-type is all hogwash.  In fact, people at various times have done 
so, for example(*):

   http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1144794177&count=1

More realistically, what we have is a failure to set expectations 
properly.  To my knowledge, nobody sniffs application/xhtml+xml and 
nobody supports application/html.  I suspect that most people wouldn't 
use application/html directly; but might be encouraged to add a meta 
statement to their html head.

By the design of html5, the overwhelming majority of the content on the 
web will show up equally well using whatever algorithm browser vendors 
are using today OR using the html5 parsing algorithm; but the few sites 
that care about the difference would have a way of indicating their 
choice -- which, if I remember correctly, was essentially the only 
option the IE participants in this working group felt like they had 
available to them (Chris can feel free to correct me on this)...

- Sam Ruby

(*) I can only presume that the current HTML5 draft reflects Ian's 
current thinking on the matter which is that certain media types are to 
be treated as authoritative, and others are to be treated as a hint and 
possibly overridden based on sniffing.
Received on Friday, 31 August 2007 17:36:18 UTC

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