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

Re: XHTML character entity support

From: Alexey Proskuryakov <ap@webkit.org>
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 14:32:32 -0700
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <B39BACAE-AC78-46C7-8913-5A05DB647879@webkit.org>
To: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>

31.10.2009, в 14:02, Shelley Powers написал(а):

> Interoperable means, to me, that when parsers do support external
> DTDs, they do so consistently, and according to established rules.
> However, rather than put what could be an onerous burden on the
> parsers, there's nothing that states parsers have to parse external
> DTDs.
>
> That is consistent -- a parser not supporting an external DTD is a
> possibility, it's not a surprise, nor something unexpected.

Right, we do have very different definitions of "interoperable".

> This state of affairs is not unusual, and in fact, how the web has
> been working for several years now. I would think to do anything
> different would introduce an inconsistency between past
> implementations and the present.

Past implementations do support named entities in XHTML. Letting  
future implementations not have support adds potential for  
inconsistencies (but in practice, it just degrades the quality of our  
standards, as implementations need to resort to reverse engineering of  
others' behavior again).

The only things we achieve by preserving the status quo is making it  
harder for new UAs to enter the market, and confusing authors by  
having vague guidelines about what they can rely upon.

> If we didn't have an alternative, then yes, I agree, we have a
> problem. But we have numeric references which work well, consistently,
> and across serializations and aren't dependent on DTDs.

There is always an alternative - if an author cannot achieve something  
with XHTML, they can resort to HTML. The existence of alternatives  
shouldn't really be an argument in this case.

> True, if WebKit parses external DTDs, and the DTD used provides the
> named entities, it would be more consistent for Webkit to support
> named entities in page fragments (innerHTML) as it does for the
> document. But I would assume, then, that it would do so by parsing the
> external DTDs, not hard coding the named entities?

WebKit does not use a validating parser, but it does support XHTML  
named entities. I'm not quite sure about Firefox.

- WBR, Alexey Proskuryakov
Received on Saturday, 31 October 2009 21:33:06 UTC

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