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Re: ISSUE-54: doctype-legacy-compat

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:08:28 +0100
Message-ID: <497086CC.6050808@lachy.id.au>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Sam Ruby wrote:
> <!DOCTYPE html "">

Correction: <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "">

> 1) Single DOCTYPE, with a null quoted string

Considering the fact that both you and DanC [1] mistakenly typed a 
non-well-formed version of the DOCTYPE, and that on occasion, even I 
have accidentally omitted the PUBLIC keyword while typing the HTML4 
DOCTYPEs, I think this is evidence that it is more prone to errors and 
that we should not encourage people to use it at all.  I think it is 
better to actively discourage its use and this is one reason why the 
perjorative alternatives are preferred.

> 2) DOCTYPE with an optional null quoted string

This alternative fails to discourage people from trying to use the 
longer alternative.

We know from experience that people will often use the longer version of 
the HTML4 DOCTYPEs including the optional SYSTEM identifier, despite the 
fact that it is optional.  It seems that there is a general perception 
that the longer alternative is better.

> 3) Two DOCTYPES: one "preferred" with no quoted string, and one
> "pejorative" with the value "legacy-compat".
> 
> 4) Two DOCTYPES: one with no quoted string, and one with a value of
> "XSLT-compat" that should not be used unless the document is generated from
> XSLT.

I'm fine with both of these alternatives, although I have a preference 
for the latter because of the reason I pointed out in IRC yesterday [2]:

<Lachy> the only problem with legacy-compat is that it's not entirely
         clear that it's meant for compat with legacy generator tools,
         like XSLT, rather than legacy consumers like browsers

Additionally, it's not clear to me which tools besides XSLT have 
difficulty outputting <!DOCTYPE html> in HTML serialisations, and thus 
what problem we are solving by changing "XSLT-compat" to 
"legacy-compat".  (If such tools have been mentioned in previous 
threads, then I may have missed them)

[1] http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/html-wg/20090115#l-676
[2] http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/html-wg/20090115#l-701

-- 
Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
http://lachy.id.au/
http://www.opera.com/
Received on Friday, 16 January 2009 13:09:08 UTC

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