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RE: type attribute (Re: Site Maps and nested navigation)

From: Stuart Smith <Stuart.M.Smith@manchester.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 15:45:21 +0000
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20051207154521296.00000003708@MARVIN>

Hi David

Thanks for that, some interesting food for thought, which I am going to have to raise with colleagues. Creates a few problems as we have just switched to being a XHTML strict organisation!

Cheers

Stuart

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of David Dorward
Sent: 07 December 2005 15:40
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: type attribute (Re: Site Maps and nested navigation)


On Wed, Dec 07, 2005 at 03:19:00PM +0000, Stuart Smith wrote:

> Moving on a little - whats the beef with XHTML?

The nutshell version is that if you serve it as application/xhtml+xml then you find user agent support is tiny. If you serve it as text/html then you have to follow Appendix C to be "HTML Compatable" so it works with HTML 4.x user agents - except that Appendix C doesn't make it entirely HTML compatable and conforming user agents (like w3, which I'm given to understand is, when combined with emacspeak, a popular choice of screen reading browser on FOSS platforms) will interpret "foo<br />bar" as:

foo
>bar

... which is quite correct for HTML 4.x.

There's also the serious problem of cargocultists using XHTML without understanding it, leading to such delights as:

<style type="text/css">
<!--
/* Som CSS */
-->
</style>

Which is a pretty serious mistake, but goes unnoticed because it is
(a) valid and (b) works when served as text/html

If you are serving it as text/html you aren't getting any of the benefits of XHTML, so there are only negatives to choosing it over HTML 4.01.

> I thought it was recommended?

By some people, but as far as I can tell, its more becuase they want to push XML, or think the latest must be the greatest, then becuase it gives any practical benefits on today's WWW (or the WWW for at least the next few years).

--
David Dorward                                      http://dorward.me.uk
Received on Wednesday, 7 December 2005 15:45:37 GMT

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