W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January 2009

Re: Making the HTML language self-describing

From: Martin Atkins <mart@degeneration.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2009 17:24:44 -0800
Message-ID: <496555DC.3070601@degeneration.co.uk>
CC: public-html@w3.org

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Wed, 7 Jan 2009, 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.
> 
> If you never use optional end tags, the only thing that would cause a DOM 
> difference that I can think of is void elements.
> 
> However, DOM differences would be the least of your problems if the UA 
> doesn't support the void elements. With flow elements like <section> or 
> <meter>, you might be able to use the elements even though the UA doesn't 
> support them because you can style them. But with void elements, the 
> elements are useless if the UA doesn't support them.
> 
> In other words, it basically *doesn't matter* if the DOM is different if 
> you're using void elements the UA doesn't support.
> 

There is the potential to find them in the DOM via script and turn them 
into something else.

However, my concern isn't making the void elements actually do 
something, but rather the cascading failure that happens as soon as you 
use an unknown void element.

The entire page shouldn't break just because one element is not 
supported by the parser.
Received on Thursday, 8 January 2009 01:25:25 UTC

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