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WD-xhtml2-20030506: Should <html> be replaced with <xhtml>?

From: Dave Hodder <dmh@dmh.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 21:08:57 +0100
Message-ID: <3EF21859.6030107@dmh.org.uk>
To: www-html-editor@w3.org

There is an ongoing discussion on the www-html list asking whether the 
<html> element should be renamed to <xhtml> in XHTML 2.0.  See:


The thread raises questions about what XHTML really /is/ -- should it be 
thought of as just the latest version of HTML, or another beast altogether?

I personally think changing the root element to <xhtml> brings both 
advantages and disadvantages.  One thing that /does/ seem clear though, 
is that if the change is made, now is the time to do it; XHTML 2.0 is 
the first time that backwards compatibility has not been an intrinsic 

The most important advantage, I feel, is actually /psychological/ rather 
than technical.  It's like a big warning sign to document authors 
saying, "Don't mix-and-match bits of HTML with XHTML 2.0" and "Don't 
send this file with the text/html media type!"

(The change could be useful for authoring tools; for example as soon as 
"<xhtml" has been entered, a tool knows it's probably dealing with 
something XHTML 2.0-based and not HTML 4 or XHTML 1.0-based.  However it 
could be argued this is superfluous given that XHTML 2.0 can be 
distinguished by it's namespace.)


Received on Thursday, 19 June 2003 16:09:01 UTC

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