W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2008

Re: several messages about New Vocabularies in text/html

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 07:26:57 +0000 (UTC)
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>, Neil Soiffer <Neils@dessci.com>, public-html@w3.org, www-math@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0804020716030.18927@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Wed, 2 Apr 2008, Julian Reschke wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > ...
> > On Tue, 1 Apr 2008, Neil Soiffer wrote:
> > > I meant that content MathML doesn't need to be directly supported.
> > > However, it should be accepted as part of <annotation-xml>, where it is
> > > easily ignored.
> > 
> > HTML5 today has about 110 elements. Presentational MathML has about 30.
> > Content MathML has about 140.
> > 
> > _Doubling_ the number of elements allowed in text/html just so that all
> > those elements can be ignored seems like a fundamentally bad idea. (It also
> > more than doubles the number of elements that the parser has to know about.)
> > ...
> The solution is not to add them to HTML (nor SVG, nor...), but to define 
> an extensibility point.

Yes, people keep saying that, but I've yet to see a detailed proposal that 
is workable. I've tried coming up with many different ideas, but all had 
some fatal flaw that wouldn't work on the Web.

If you have any concrete ideas on how to make this work, I encourage you 
to contribute to the wiki:


I have been unable to come up with a generic syntax for vocabulary 
extension that looks (even slightly) like XML and that would actually work 
in practice on the Web. Please, if you can come up with something that 
works, do. It would make my life much easier. :-)

However, just saying "the solution is to define an extensibility point" 
without actually suggesting how it would work doesn't help. I entirely 
agree that an arbitrary extensibility mechanism would be a better solution 
than hard-coding tag names, but we have to deal with the very real problem 
of finding a solution compatible with existing markup, otherwise browsers 
will just ignore what we specify, and we won't have solved anything.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 07:27:40 UTC

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