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Re: Liaison statement on fragment identifiers from Linking WG

From: Shane P. McCarron <ahby@themacs.com>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 09:10:49 -0500
Message-ID: <37402369.12206160@themacs.com>
To: Bill Smith <bill.smith@sun.com>
CC: shane@themacs.com, Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>, Steven Pemberton <Steven.Pemberton@cwi.nl>, w3c-xml-cg@w3.org, w3c-html-wg@w3.org, www-html-editor@w3.org, w3c-xml-linking-wg@w3.org

Bill Smith wrote:
> At 07:38 PM 5/13/99 -0500, Shane P. McCarron wrote:
> >Tim Bray wrote:
> >> I agree with Bill that a lot of people are going to ignore the
> >> recommendation and just go on using "name", and will be surprised
> >> and upset that this doesn't work when you serve the doc as
> >> text/xml.  Speaking for myself, I honestly can't really predict
> >> whether this will be a problem - there is a good chance that anyone
> >> who cares enough to issue a text/xml media type will take the
> >> trouble to get the IDs in order.
> >
> >The good news is that the tool HTML Tidy from the W3C can do this you -
> >or at least help do it.
> It can only do one side of this as an author moves from HTML to XHTML. All
> of the web pages that refer (using a fragment identifier) to the HTML
> version will fail to locate the correct fragment in the XHTML version. So
> in this case, transition is not made easier but rather more difficult. Web
> pages will silently fail to behave as expected.

I think you have a misunderstanding of how this technology works.  In
general, the transition from HTML to XHTML requires well formedness and
using both name and ID attributes on certain elements. Such a strategy
guarantees that XHTML will work in HTML 4.0 conforming browsers. After
all, HTML 4.0 stipulates that the ID and NAME attributes share a
namespace.  Therefore, any document that was HTML and is converted to
XHTML will continue to work, and conforming browsers will continue to
resolve fragment references correctly.

What may not work is if the conversion were to remove the name
attributes from these elements. This is because older or broken HTML 4.0
browsers sometimes do not use the id attribute. Consequently, we need to
leave it in. Maybe what we should also do is deprecate it in XHTML 1.0
so that the transition strategy is clear?

Shane P. McCarron                              phone: +1 612 434-4431
Testing Research Manager                         fax: +1 612 434-4318
                                              mobile: +1 612 799-6942
                                              e-mail: shane@themacs.com

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Received on Monday, 17 May 1999 10:10:48 UTC

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