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Re: [W3C docs] We should teach by example.

From: Michael(tm) Smith <mike@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 7 Jul 2007 08:07:17 +0900
To: Philip TAYLOR <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>
Cc: Jon Barnett <jonbarnett@gmail.com>, "Michael A. Puls II" <shadow2531@gmail.com>, www-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <20070706230716.GA11591@mikesmith>

Philip TAYLOR <Philip-and-LeKhanh@Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org>, 2007-07-06 22:07 +0100:

> Jon Barnett wrote:
> > - DOCTYPE is almost completely useless.  I have been in online and
> > face-to-face conversations where authors think that DOCTYPE will
> > actually DO something in a browser other than change the rendering mode
> > from quirks mode to standards mode
> DOCTYPE defines the dialect of the language in which the
> document is written;  without it, the document consists
> of an arbitrary mixture of angle-brackets, ampersands, semi-colons
> and prose : with it, the document is an instance of SGML which
> can be parsed and converted into a meaning and/or a rendering.

Philip, speaking as someone who has worked for two different
browser companies I hope you will trust me when I reiterate what
several others have already pointed out on the list: Browsers not
implement SGML parsers now, nor have they ever. They do not
dereference public or system IDs and do anything with them, do not
retrieve DTDs nor use any kind of internal DTD against which to
validate document instances.

A browser does not need a doctype to be present to define for it the
HTML dialect. So your last sentence could just as well be written,
"Even without a doctype, a document can be parsed and converted
into meaning and/or rendering". True, SGML tools do need a doctype
to do anything with a document. But browsers are not SGML tools.

Anyway, as one of the most active contributors and users of the
list, I hope you can appreciate that we all need to be doing more
to try to ensure that the list remains useful and focused on
helping the working group meet its chartered objectives. And
continuing a discussion about this topic (and similar topics that
don't contribute to bringing the group any closer to meeting is
goals) on public-html seems to me at best to not be helping the
work of the group, and perhaps even harming it.


Michael(tm) Smith

Received on Friday, 6 July 2007 23:07:25 UTC

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