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

From: Michael A. Puls II <shadow2531@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2007 20:06:06 -0400
Message-ID: <6b9c91b20709031706i318e8ad5i72103d9f99b7fb9a@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Robert Burns" <rob@robburns.com>
Cc: "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>

On 9/3/07, Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com> wrote:
> On Sep 2, 2007, at 6:53 PM, Michael A. Puls II wrote:
> >
> > 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...".
> >
> > The spec already allows a few xmlisms in HTML5, but since using those
> > xmlisms makes the document look like XHTML, the MUST requirement seems
> > to contradict if you really think about it.
> I think to make this clearer we should focus on the MUST instead of
> the MUST NOT. That is we should just say something like:"
> "Documents served with an XML media type such as 'application/xml' or
> 'application/xhtml+xml' that also make use of the new features
> described in this recommendation MUST conform to the requirements of
> this recommendation for XHTML5 documents. Such documents must also
> conform to the requirements of the XML (1.0 or later) recommendation.
> Documents served with an 'text/html' media type that also make use of
> the new features described in this recommendation MUST conform to the
> requirements of this recommendation for HTML5 documents."

Pretty good. I like the wording better because it basically says:

Whatever the content of the document you have, if you serve it as
text/html, it'll be treated as HTML. If you serve it with an xml mime
type, it'll be treated as xml (and if using the html namespace,
xhtml). So, how you must conform, depends on how it's treated.

(It also says what I was previously trying to convey.)

This is good because:

1. That's how things really are.

2. It avoids the whole "what is an xhtml document" and "Is a document
using xhtml markup served as text/html really an xhtml document and
bound by the xhtml MUST rule?".

3. It might satify Dan's request.


I vote for going with the general theme of Robert's suggestion and
just tweaking the wording of the suggestion as necessary.

On a side, I've often used the terms 'text/html documents" and
"application/xhtml+xml documents" to refer to html and xhtml
respectively as a way to stress the importance of mime type and to
focus on behavior instead of the look of the markup. So, the
suggestion fits right in with that idea also.

Received on Tuesday, 4 September 2007 00:06:10 UTC

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