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[whatwg] HTML 5 vs. XHTML 2.0

From: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2004 00:52:06 +0100
Message-ID: <41954CA6.8090807@students.cs.uu.nl>
In reply to the "[whatwg] [html5] Semantic elements and spec complexity" 
message...

Matthew Thomas wrote:
> So if <section>, <navigation>, <header>, <footer>, <article>, and 
> <sidebar> are introduced, with the default presentation currently 
> suggested {display: block; margin: 0;}, I predict the following:

Be that as it may be, you're forgetting something - HTML is not just for 
the web, it is also a document markup language for many (which can and 
is of course often used and actually specifically aimed at the web). At 
my job we currently create the documentation files for our product with 
a transformation of our documents, which use a 'custom' format, which is 
basically XHTML 2.0 plus some XHTML 1.0 tags which we felt were 
practical (e.g. <img>), and some stuff of our own. I can say that stuff 
like 'section' and 'h' instead of h1...h6 is quite vital to the process 
of document creation. Also, try for example to generate a TOC out of 
h1...h6 headings (with XSLT, that is...), it's pretty hard.

Also, when working on real documentation, one will notice the lack of 
markup tags immediately. To name just one, the <blockcode> tag is very 
useful. Even XHTML 2.0 doesn't have that many more (then again, that 
avoids bloat). We had the choice of using spans with a class everywhere, 
or adding some new documents, and we chose to do the latter, picking the 
XHTML 2.0 option whenever available.

I don't think this is a spec just for 'the ignorant mass'. A spec aimed 
at them can hardly be taken seriously, because it will take a lot to 
make them learn. However, it is about the people who want to better 
semantically markup their documents in a more professional way, giving 
them more hooks for CSS markup and enabling them to produce beautiful 
documents without having to resort putting a span with class around 
everything.

Anyway, let me stress again that for 'HTML 5' I am highly in favour of 
adopting XHTML 2.0 with the unused HTML 4.01 tags marked 'deprecated' 
(this is an important difference from XHTML 2.0 which removes them 
altogether), and perhaps some additions. Because XHTML 2.0 is definitely 
a more serious markup language. And I'd say HTML 5 being compatible with 
XHTML 2.0 is a great merit for both.

I'm getting the impression that we are here discussing much that has 
already been through thoroughly on the XHTML 2.0 working group. For 
example the quotes thing - in XHTML there's no <q> anymore but there's 
<quote>, a choice very likely made because of the exact same concerns 
raised overhere (being inconsistency between <q> functionality, which a 
new tag would solve). Or removing <acronym>, <big> and <small>. The 
accesskey functional choice they made sounds pretty decent, from what I 
hear here. <var> is used (just maybe not by you, but I have several 
times), and the functionality of <cite> is greatly enhanced, making it a 
much more useful tool, which can also be employed for data mining (I've 
seen a similar thing on dive into mark's blog once iirc).



~Grauw

-- 
Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san!!
Received on Friday, 12 November 2004 15:52:06 UTC

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