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XHTML 1.0 (4th March Draft) Comments

From: Chris Nappin <CNappin@inri.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 10:11:09 +0000
Message-ID: <36F0D13D.25F01242@inri.co.uk>
To: www-html-editor@w3.org

  I'm a web author, producing commercial web sites as part of my day-to-day job. From my point of view, the greatest difficulty with HTML authoring is compatibility - I typically test such sites with at least 6 different user agents to ensure compatibility. Given greater time, I would test even more thoroughly. Clearly, independent technical standards have a clear role to play within this situation - however incomplete the support of current standards may be from current user agents.

Current user agent functionality merely mirrors the state of the majority of documents on the Internet,  in that currently the majority of documents are not "well formed", therefore current user agents do not strictly test against the appropriate standards.

If there is to be a situation in the future where standards are used and strictly adhered to, there needs to be a transitional period (probably quite long, even in "Internet years") where the standard of documents exceeds that necessary to be rendered by current user agents.

As a web author, I'm quite happy to expend additional effort to produce documents that adhere strictly to a set standard, in the hope that that standard will be adopted more thoroughly by future user agents. I'm currently validating our commercial work against "transitional" HTML 4.0, since this is supported by a wide range of user agents. I would NOT be willing to adopt XHTML as a standard to work to if it means reducing this backwards compatibility.

Therefore I feel that full backwards compatibility is an ESSENTIAL requirement to achieving successful adoption of XHTML by the wider Internet community. This means that XHTML documents must be able to be transmitted as the Internet media type "text/html". This also means that, when the final approved standard in published, the list of supporting user agents will be quite a long list !

many thanks,

Chris Nappin, INRI UK Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0)1703 760484 Fax: +44 (0)1703 760483 Web: www.inri.co.uk
INRI is a subsidiary of Logicon Inc, a Northrop Grumman Company.
Received on Thursday, 18 March 1999 05:59:51 UTC

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