W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xhtml2@w3.org > December 2008

XHTML 1.x mime type document

From: Dean Edridge <dean@dean.org.nz>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2008 02:58:28 +1300
To: public-xhtml2@w3.org
Message-id: <4950EE84.9030903@dean.org.nz>

regarding: http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/2008/ED-xhtml-media-types-20081126/

* I request that the XHTML 2 WG make it clear that these guidelines only 
apply to XHTML 1.x. and that this document only represents the opinions 
of the XHTML 2 WG, and not the W3C.
* I also request that the document be re-titled to some thing more 
appropriate like "Media types for XHTML 1.x" or something similar.

Quoting: http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/2008/ED-xhtml-media-types-20081126/

> Now there are at least four possibilities on media type labeling for 
> XHTML Family documents - 'text/html', 'application/xhtml+xml', and 
> generic XML media types 'application/xml' and 'text/xml'.

text/xml is being deprecated isn't it? I've seen several reports of 
problems with text/xml [1] [2] [3]

text/html is the mime type for HTML, if you try to use XHTML 1.x and 
label it as text/html it becomes invalid HTML4. Trying to use XHTML but 
sending it as text/html also gives people the false impression that they 
have transitioned from HTML to XHTML when they haven't. I don't think 
it's in the best interest of XHTML to tell people that their documents 
are valid XHTML when using the text/html mime type.

> XHTML documents served as 'text/html' will not be processed as XML 
> [XML10], e.g., well-formedness errors may not be detected by user 
> agents. Also be aware that HTML rules will be applied for DOM and 
> style sheets (see guidelines 11 and 13).

That's because they aren't XHTML web pages any more, it's not the syntax 
that distinguishes HTML from XHTML, it's the eXtensibility and you wont 
get that eXtensibility when using the text/html mime type, the 
eXtensibility is only there when the document is processed by a XML 
parser, not a HTML parser. So there are only really two mime types for 
XHTML, they are application/xml and application/xhtml+xml.

> Also, DO include a space before the trailing / and  >

I think you'll find that the space is not needed on modern text/html 
parsers, anyway, the syntax is invalid in HTML which is what text/html is.

> A.16. The Named Character Reference &apos;
> DO use &#39; to specify an escaped apostrophe. DO NOT use &apos;.
> Rationale: The entity &apos; is not defined in HTML 4.

You'll need to mention that since XML parsers are not required to fetch 
external entities; there's only five named entities that you can use in 
XHTML (&lt;, &gt;, &amp;, &quot; and &apos;). [4]

There's some other things that I'm concerned about:

> This document has been produced by the W3C XHTML 2 Working Group

Why is the XHTML 2 WG writing a document like this? The XHTML 2 WG are 
not the only working group developing XHTML. I noticed that the last 
XHTML media type note was published by the W3C's HTML WG, but there has 
not been any coordination with the HTML WG this time. The XHTML 2 WG 
does not have the authority to say what's right and wrong for XHTML when 
others are developing XHTML specifications. The XHTML 2 WG are only 
working on eXtensible HTML4, the HTML WG is working on eXtensible HTML5 
(and the non eXtensible variant), the information that is mentioned in 
this "XHTML media type" document contradicts what is published in the 
HTML5 spec [4], so it will have to be changed so it's clear that the 
guidelines only apply to XHTML 1.x.

The wording on the following page needs to be changed:
quoting: http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml/vocab/

> The XHTML specifications are developed by the W3C XHTML 2 Working 
> Group http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/ as part of the W3C HTML Activity 
> http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Activity.

Well, that is simply not correct, the W3C's HTML WG is developing a 
XHTML specification called HTML5. This specification includes a classic 
HTML variant and an eXtensible XHTML variant. The text on that vocab web 
page will have to be changed.

This is incorrect too:
quoting: http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Drafts/

> XHTML Document Development Area
> An automatically maintained index of XHTML Working Group documents and 
> their status
> Last Update: 22 December 2008 17:21

You guys are not the "XHTML Working Group", you are the XHTML 2 WG, can 
you guys please stop misleading people like this. I have heard several 
people object to this misinformation; it seems to me to be an attempt to 
convince people that you guys are the only working group developing 
XHTML and that the HTML WG is not, which is completely false. It has 
confused many people including W3C staff members; it has caused several 
problems for the HTML WG when they have been trying to communicate with 
members of the public, other W3C working groups such as the SVG and 
MathML WGs, and the Q & A team.

[1] http://annevankesteren.nl/2005/03/text-xml
[2] http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1037398795&count=1
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2004Jul/0004.html
[4] http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/introduction.html#authors-using-xhtml

Dean Edridge
Received on Tuesday, 23 December 2008 13:59:15 UTC

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