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

Re: text/html for html and xhtml (Was: Supporting MathML and SVG in text/html, and related topics)

From: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2008 08:56:48 +0100
Message-ID: <48085440.4010603@david-woolley.me.uk>
To: William F Hammond <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
CC: whatwg@whatwg.org, public-html@w3.org, www-math@w3.org, www-svg@w3.org

William F Hammond wrote:

> 
> Whether there is one mimetype or two, erroneous content will need
> handling.  The experiment begun around 2001 of "punishing" bad
> documents in application/xhtml+xml seems to have led to that mime type
> not being much used.

The purpose was not to punish, but to ensure that documents in mixed 
namespaces could be parsed by user agents that didn't understand all the 
namespaces.  In fact, one of the common bogus reasons for using sort of 
XML syntax under www/html is based on the mistaken belief that it 
ensures documents do have a correct syntax (part of this was the false 
belief that HTML optional closing tags were tolerated syntax errors, 
when the tags are actually inferred by the parser in a deterministic way).

The reason that people don't serve as application/xhtml+xml is the 
existence of legacy browsers, particularly IE, in the field.  However 
those legacy browsers don't handle SVG or MathML, so that is not a 
relevant consideration here.

As far as I can see, the only people who would really suffer from 
requiring XML syntax for mixed HTML/SVG would be cut and paste coders of 
web applications.  I think that might be a reasonable penalty for 
dubious copyright practices.

People with static content should be able use some form of authoring 
tool to do most of the work of creating an HTML parse tree then 
serialising it as well formed XML (if not valid XHTML), and possibly 
even fixing up small CSS anomalies.

I'm only on www-svg, other lists may fail or be delayed.  (If cross 
posting is to become the standard, could I suggest the list server be 
modified to:

1) allow posting to all w3c groups if one is subscribed to one;
2) reject outright, on all lists, if there is a mix of public and closed 
lists.
3) whatwg and w3c should come to some agreement that allows posters to 
one to post to the other.)
-- 
David Woolley
Emails are not formal business letters, whatever businesses may want.
RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
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Received on Friday, 18 April 2008 07:59:49 UTC

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