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

Re: HTML is a declarative mark-up language

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 17:16:19 -0800
Message-Id: <26F97201-285B-4472-A076-5F128F8B47C5@gbiv.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
To: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>

On Jan 29, 2009, at 3:04 AM, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>> Usually, such things are called deprecated, noted as such in the  
>> spec,
>> and remain part of the language definition.  The reason for that  
>> should
>> be self-evident.
> Please explain why:
> * The xmp, listing and plaintext elements from HTML 2.0 and 3.2 are  
> not
>   defined in HTML 4.01

I don't know about xmp (was it ever used?), but listing and plaintext
were removed because they were incompatible with SGML.  That is, they
couldn't be defined using a DTD because their purpose was to say
"whatever follows is not HTML."  They became obsolete in 1993 when
HTTP/1.0 added media types.

> * The font element from HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0 is not defined in
>   XHTML 1.1

XHTML 1.1 is not a relevant specification of "text/html".

> * The urn and methods attributes from the a element in HTML 2.0 are  
> not
>   defined in HTML 3.2

Presumably because they were a bad idea and never used.

> * The name attribute from HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0 is not defined in
>   XHTML 1.1

Again, not relevant to "text/html".

> It seems there is a clear precedent for dropping elements and  
> attributes from subsequent revisions of HTML.  I don't see why HTML  
> 5 should be treated any differently in this respect.

Because HTML5 intends to be the definition of the "text/html"
media type, which is an already deployed language.

The anchor name attribute is heavily used and present in every
single book and tutorial on writing HTML that has been printed
in the past 18 years.  It is a permanent fixture of the language
and should be defined by the spec even if it is deprecated.


Received on Friday, 30 January 2009 01:19:59 UTC

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