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Re: Using XPointer with HTML

From: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 13:16:06 +0200
Message-ID: <01a001c1e081$1d3fad80$8df5a8c0@cwi.nl>
To: "Jim Ley" <jim@jibbering.com>, <www-annotation@w3.org>, "HTML WG" <w3c-html-wg@w3.org>
> So no matter about HTML documents, XHTML ones can't be annotated either?
> (RFC 3236 defines application/xhtml+xml )

XHTML may also be served as text/xml, so in that case XPointer can be used.
As Masayasu points out, XPointer needs to be updated to refer to RFC 3023.

> All you need to do is be
> able to indentify elements in the parse tree, XPointer like syntax is
> good for this, especially if the document has id's.

If the document has id's then you can just use a URI, problem solved. But I
thought a more general solution was being sought.

> > Thirdly, because of the difference between XML and SGML, XHTML and HTML
> > have different but compatible content models. This means that an XHTML
> > document served as text/html will have a different parse tree to that of
> > physically same document served as text/xml or application/xhtml+xml.
> > This means that depending on the mime type you would need different
> > XPointers to get to the same element.
> Well of course you would, they're different documents!

No, the same document, served with different media types. It is the same
document, but the result of the media types means it gets parsed

> However if the Pointer is
> xpointer(id('Moomin')) then it will happily point to the same element
> within the Resource (assuming the resources are appropriately authored,
> and content negotiation on the document returned from the URI is
> logical.)

As I said, if the document has ids, the problem is solved.

> This seems very confused to me, in one part you define xpointer to only
> work with the idea that a URI returns a particular document (not a
> particular resource) and now you argue against xpointers in HTML
> documents by comparing them with XHTML - the differences betwenn XHTML
> and HTML are irrelevant to the purposes of XPointers in HTML - in HTML,
> we know there's a TBODY in the parse tree, in an XHTML document we know
> there's not unless it's in the source document.  Those differences are
> irrelevant to whether you can point to a particular part of an HTML parse
> tree.
> The question is not how does XPointer into HTML compare to XPointer into
> XHTML, but can we point to something in an HTML document?

I'm sorry if I said something that upset you. I don't know what I said to
engender such rancour.

I was asked to comment on using XPointer into HTML, especially in the
context of TBODY.

If that is not the problem, I will keep quiet.

Best wishes,

Steven Pemberton
Chair, W3C HTML Working Group
Received on Wednesday, 10 April 2002 07:16:11 UTC

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