Re: Courting Joe Homepage
The ERB wishes to clarify the discussion arising from the suggestion
that we make it possible to grandfather existing valid HTML documents
as valid XML documents without changing them in any way.
We certainly do wish to make Joe Homepage comfortable, but we wish to
accomplish this by moving him into a new home. The way to do this is
to ensure that existing valid HTML documents can straightforwardly be
converted to XML documents without any loss of information using a
generally available normalization tool. In particular, it should be
easy for the developers of XML applications such as XML Web browsers
to build in converters that will map HTML to XML on the fly. But a
requirement that existing valid HTML documents be valid XML documents
with no changes whatsoever would impose unacceptable limitations on
our ability to design the best possible SGML application profile for
documents on the Web.
It is a design goal of XML to function as a metalanguage for document
markup on the Web. It is not a design goal of XML to automatically
grandfather in existing HTML documents or documents conformant to any
other specific SGML markup language.