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Re: Please change the current name of the specification to "HTML5 and XHTML5"

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 17:28:24 +0000
Message-ID: <478CED38.4060706@cam.ac.uk>
To: Dean Edridge <dean@55.co.nz>
CC: HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>

Dean Edridge wrote:

> I've been told recently that the "the spec supports both HTML and XHTML 
> equally". But I can't see this as being true.
> For example: How can the spec "support both HTML and XHTML equally" if 
> HTML5 will become a W3C recommendation but XHTML5 will not?

It seems that there is a certain amount of confusion here. The serialization of 
the HTML 5 language as XML (which we're calling, at least for the moment, 
XHTML5) will become a rec along with the rest of the spec. Since this 
serialization is explicitly mentioned in the charter, it's very unlikely that it 
will go away.

The main issue that seems to be causing problems seems to be that the term 
"HTML" is used in two different senses; HTML the abstract document language and 
HTML the serialization associated with the text/html MIME type. The "HTML" being 
referred to in the title is the first sense, the new subtitle (which also 
explicitly mentions XHTML) uses it in the second sense. Given the frequent 
occurrence of such subtle distinctions of meaning in everyday life, I would not 
have expected it to cause a problem, at least for native English speakers. 
However, if there is some language we could adopt to make this distinction more 
apparent without harming the overall readability of the document, I would be 
very much in favour. Alternatively if we can make it clearer in the introduction 
by having a diagram like:

              HTML Language (abstract)
                    /           \
  HTML Parser /    /             \  XML Parser /
       Serializer /               \     Serializer
                 /                 \
                /                   \
       HTML Document             XHTML Document
MIME type:text/html             MIME type:application/xhtml+xml

Maybe that would be helpful.

Also, it's worth noting that XHTML is covered in much more detail in the spec 
than just "3 sentences". For example [1] describes how to implement the 
innerHTML DOM API in an XML-specific way. HTML-the-serialization is covered in 
more depth because it is entirely defined by this specification, whilst the 
XHTML serialization is largely defined by the XML 1.0 specification.

[1] http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#innerhtml1

-- 
"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
  -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Received on Tuesday, 15 January 2008 17:29:24 GMT

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