W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > November 2004

[whatwg] HTML 5 vs. XHTML 2.0

From: MegaZone <megazone@megazone.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 18:04:12 -0500
Message-ID: <20041115230411.GA483@sidehack.sat.gweep.net>
Once upon a time Laurens Holst shaped the electrons to say...
> >but it does lead us to compare/contrast with XHTML2. i think this is a 
> >major issue and prompts many questions. how far do we mirror the XHTML2 
> >improvements? if we adopt some but not others will this lead to further 
> >confusion about web standards? it seems that versions of HTML have 
> >already lurched in different directions.
> To me, it would be way preferable to just adopt the whole of it.

I strongly agree.  I've been a web developer on and off since 1991 -
when a friend in college had a friend at CERN who knew this guy named
Tim who was working on this new thing called HTML.

I watched the development of HTML through 2.0, then the disaster that
was the HTML 3.0 effort.  Saw the baby get tossed out with the
bathwater when it was abandoned.  (I think there were some good ideas
in 3.0 - but I agree that overall it was terribly bloated.  I still
find the concept of 'scribble on' for input vastly amusing.)  And then
the shift to the W3C.  I was able to participate as a member of the
WGs for HTML 4, CSS 2, and WAI.  (OPTGROUP was my main claim to fame -
yeah, I know, no one uses it and it was watered down in HTML 4.  I
wanted arbitrary nesting for cascasing menus in forms.)

I like where XHTML is going, and I've just been passed control of the
websites at work and I'm already starting to redesign them using
XHTML+CSS.  

But I would also love to see many of the improvements proposed by
WHAT-WG.

What I really do not want to see is yet another example of
fragmentation in the industry.  It is already a pain in the ass that
IE can't handle CSS decently.  (Happily I discovered Dean Edwards's
'IE7' JavaScript libary for IE: http://dean.edwards.name/IE7/ so I can
use the standards and not have to cripple things.)  I'd rather not see
the W3C and WHAT-WG go in incompatible directions and then be forced
to choose.  Especially if browser makers end up picking one or the
other - then you're back to the early NS/IE wars when you had to
either not use any advanced features and keep to the lowest common
denominator, develop two pages or do bizarre markup to keep both
happy, or pick sides.  That was a great deal of no fun to deal with as
a webmaster for Lucent at the time.

I'd rather see WHAT-WG *ahem* 'embrace and extend' the XHTML 2.0 work,
which could give authors the ability to produce backwards compatible
pages.  And it could allow for merged standards down the road, which I
think would be the best outcome.

-MZ, RHCE #806199299900541, ex-CISSP #3762
-- 
<URL:mailto:megazoneatmegazone.org> Gweep, Discordian, Author, Engineer, me.
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men" 508-755-4098
<URL:http://www.megazone.org/>  <URL:http://www.eyrie-productions.com/> Eris
Received on Monday, 15 November 2004 15:04:12 UTC

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