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Re: Write-up about semantics in HTML5 from A List Apart

From: Thomas Broyer <t.broyer@ltgt.net>
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 02:08:36 +0100
Message-ID: <a9699fd20901071708w3261d54cv1cd51768a86ed290@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html <public-html@w3.org>

On Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 7:17 PM, Martin Atkins wrote:
> It would be ideal if future versions of HTML would be parsable by todays
> parsers, even if they ultimately ignore elements they don't understand.
> The best example of this is void elements that get parsed as non-void by
> legacy parsers; it is therefore not possible to use new void elements
> without breaking software that employs legacy parsers, since the entire tree
> after the new void element will be incorrect.
> A solution to this has been offered in the form of having the <element/>
> form be treated as void for all unknown elements.

It wouldn't solve anything short-term, as current browsers parse
unknown elements as non-void, whatever the "/>" syntax; only
<element></element> would (and could lead to different DOMs being
produced if an author uses <element>foo</element>: "foo" as a child of
<element> in HTML5 but "foo" as a sibling and </element> ignored in

There cannot be a single rule that would allow compatibility all over
the place (HTML6 docs in HTML5 UA, HTML5 in HTML6 UA; with the same
DOM being produced); except not introducing any new void element
and/or non-phrasing element; which is probably worse than having
authors use middle-term workarounds.

Thomas Broyer
Received on Thursday, 8 January 2009 01:09:12 UTC

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