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Re: Serving XHTML as XML

From: Gez Lemon <gl@juicystudio.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 19:39:33 -0000
Message-ID: <001401c519df$67141d20$6400a8c0@juicy.com>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Hi Jesper,

> If we are to believe W3C, it is not wrong to say that XHTML has
> "replaced" HTML or even that HTML is "deprecated", when the
> words are used as every day language.

To keep this in context, we need to remember the main goal of the W3C:
"leading the web to its full potential". XHTML, in particular XHTML 2.0, is
undoubtedly the way forward if the semantic web is ever to come to fruition.
With this in mind, the wording chosen is bound to champion their vision, but
doesn't invalidate other specifications. Support for XHTML is inadequate to
try and force developers to use it at this moment in time.

Ignoring the capabilities of all other user-agents (and I'm sure you're
aware, very few of them support application/xhtml+xml), all the time that IE
is the most popular browser, there is absolutely no point serving it XHTML
as text/html. What have you gained? You've written your documents to conform
to the HTML Compatibility Guidelines
[http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/#guidelines], regardless of the capabilities of
the browser, which I assume means you don't consider the world to be ready
for XHTML yet. With that in mind, why do you want to persecute people who
have taken the time to write valid HTML documents, which has far better
support in all user agents than XHTML? From what I can determine, you don't
use any XML features whatsoever, so I'm slightly confused as to why you
think that relying on a user-agent's error handling capabilities to parse
broken markup is better than serving it what it understands.

I would love XHTML to be supported properly by the majority of user-agents,
but that clearly isn't the case, and unlikely to be the case for a long time
yet. HTML is stable, and very well supported. From an accessibility point of
view, it makes far more sense to deliver HTML as text/html than to try and
force developers to deliver XHTML as text/html to browsers that don't
support it.

Best regards,

Supplement your vitamins
Received on Wednesday, 23 February 2005 19:36:24 UTC

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