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Re: Choosing name for XML serialization (Was: Re: HTML5 differences from HTML4 editor's draft (XHTML5 and XHTML2))

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 00:44:38 +0100
Message-ID: <640dd5060706241644mba3c1dbof9ac01a5a223bb47@mail.gmail.com>
To: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>

Hi Maciej,

> I don't find them counter-productive, just clearly incorrect.
>
> >> "Mark: I don't see why they need two names. They have HTML5, with
> >> two serializations. No need for two names."
>
> This is against precedent of the HTML WG - HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0
> were two serializations of the same language with different names.

Not at all. XHTML 1.0 was very consciously an XML version of HTML 4.01
that could be built on. XHTML 1.1 however was not simply an XML
serialisation of HTML 4.01, since it:

  * removed those items that had been deprecated;

  * added some new things like Ruby;

  * added XML-specific things like xml:lang;

  * and broke the language up into modules that could be used to create
    other XHTML-based languages.

So that's where the W3C is at, with the HTML and XHTML languages. My
understanding of the original motivation for HTML 5 was that there was
a feeling amongst some browser manufacturers that HTML needed
updating. But no-one said anything about XHTML.

In short, HTML and XHTML were forked quite a while ago, and whilst I
also believe they should never have been split, if they are now to be
merged it's going to need to be done on a far more substantial basis
than the one currently being proposed (i.e., HTML 5).


> >> "Rich: All existing XHTMLs have been modular, and HTML5 is not.
> >> It's a mess."
>
> This is false, XHTML 1.0 is not modular (in the Modularization sense).

Yes, Rich was incorrect in the first part of his
statement--modularisation came about in version 1.1. You don't seem to
be disputing the second part of his statement though. ;)


> >> "Steven: I believe that XHTML2 is more backwards compatible than
> >> HTML5, and I plan to make a document comparing them to demonstrate
> >> it."
>
> This seems to indicate either total unfamiliarity with HTML5 or
> delusion on the part of the speaker.

I saw your other thread where you suggested to a programmer that he
might be deluding himself if he thought he could possibly understand
source code from an open source browser. Although I thought that
patronising, I had to laugh because browser software is hardly at the
forefront of software development! But whilst that thread may have
been patronising, this thread seems out and out rude. (Especially when
it's based on one sentence from some minutes.)

But anyway, let's look at what was being said.


> XHTML2 has whole subsystems like
> forms and events handling that are redone in completely different
> ways; there's very little chance of an XHTML1 document functioning
> correctly when processed as XHTML2.

Yes, you are right, on that, although it's worth looking at these
issues separately. First, XML Events is a separate spec, and all it
does is provide a mark-up version of DOM 2 Events. It's used in other
languages too, has been around for a long time, and it really would be
a bit weird for HTML 5 not to make use of it.

Secondly, yes, XHTML 2 uses XForms. It is a standard, and over in the
XForms WG we're working on making it more backwards-compatible.

But the key point that Steven was making is that although people try
to claim that HTML 5 is backwards-compatible, it really isn't. And at
the same time, since most of XHTML 2 is about semantics and structure,
there is very little to implement beyond the forms stuff. In other
words, HTML 5 claims to be backwards-compatible but isn't, whilst
XHTML 2 doesn't claim to be backwards-compatible, but is not as big a
leap as people try to claim.

Don't get me wrong, no-one is saying that there is anything _wrong_
with being non-backwards--compatible at some point in a language's
evolution, and HTML 5 is perfectly free to break with HTML 4.01. But
the reason Steven was making this point is that
backwards-compatibility is often used by HTML 5 enthusiasts as a stick
with which to beat XHTML 2, yet it is no more backwards-compatible.

Regards,

Mark

-- 
  Mark Birbeck, formsPlayer

  mark.birbeck@x-port.net | +44 (0) 20 7689 9232
  http://www.formsPlayer.com | http://internet-apps.blogspot.com

  standards. innovation.
Received on Sunday, 24 June 2007 23:44:45 UTC

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