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

Re: XHTML Family Documents and Media Types

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 20:06:15 +0000
Message-ID: <a707f8300803171306r64dedb44xedb9c15b65eab22f@mail.gmail.com>
To: "olivier Thereaux" <ot@w3.org>
Cc: "Shane McCarron" <shane@aptest.com>, "XHTML WG" <public-xhtml2@w3.org>, "W3C Validator Community" <www-validator@w3.org>

Hi Olivier,

>  If I may add my personal opinion, I think this may be a mistake.
>  Overloading the text/html for XHTML 1.0 was already not a good idea
>  IMHO, but at least it had the HTML compatibility guidelines. Wouldn't
>  it be possible to work with Microsoft to make IE support XHTML media
>  type, instead of overloading text/html even further with a whole
>  family of XML languages, and jeopardizing extensibility in the process?

Personally I see it as the other way around; it was a mistake to
suggest that the MIME type and the document itself are inseparable.
What has such an approach gained us over the years? Certainly not
extensibility.

XHTML 1.0 was incredibly important for HTML because it told people how
to generate XML documents that could be rendered in web browsers. In
other words, the world of XML tools could be used to generate
documents, and yet those documents could still be read in standard
browsers.

But why insist that browsers must interpret those documents as XML?
For example, sending a non-well formed XHTML document to Firefox means
you get a blank page with lots of hyphens and a caret...what use is
that to anyone? And worse, it goes against the whole history of HTML,
where attempts are made to render documents that have errors in.

Of course, the HTML 5 route, of trying to recover from every error is
in my view, just as bizarre, but that doesn't really matter. The key
point is that there should be nothing wrong with creating a document
using XML tools, and then delivering that document to an HTML
rendering engine and seeing something useful.

That's what most of the world is doing, after all.

Regards,

Mark

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  Mark Birbeck

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Received on Monday, 17 March 2008 20:06:55 GMT

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