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XHTML1: Suggested improvements to Appendix C

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 00:24:51 +0000 (GMT)
To: www-html-editor@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0301140809510.31777-100000@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>


I believe the XHTML1 spec is wrong to allow XHTML to be sent as
text/html. While in theory XHTML1 can be made compatible with Tag Soup
UAs while still being valid and correct, the reality is that few
authors are able to do so.

I recommend that the working group consider releasing another edition
of XHTML1, that removes the ability to send XHTML as text/html.

However, if the working group does not wish to do this, I believe the
following changes need to be made to appendix C:

  1. Make the appendix normative.

  2. Change "on existing HTML user agents" to "on legacy Tag Soup user
     agents" or some similar wording that admits that XHTML cannot be
     made compatible with HTML, only with the error handling code of
     existing user agents.

  3. Change the suggestion that XML declarations should be omitted to
     a more strongly worded recommendation, as XML PIs trigger quirks
     mode in WinIE6 and are displayed verbatim on PocketIE.

  4. Remove one of the duplicated sentences in "C.4. Embedded Style
     Sheets and Scripts", and require that script and style blocks be
     neither "commented out" (with <!--/-->), nor enclosed in CDATA
     blocks, nor include any entities.

  5. Add a section requiring that <tbody> not be omitted.

  6. Change the "C.11. Document Object Model and XHTML" section
     slightly so that it requires that scripts be aware that when
     treated as XML, they should use the namespace-aware Core APIs,
     and when treated as HTML, it should use the DOM1 Core APIs;
     similarly, that all script compare tagNames and attributes by
     lowercasing them first.

  7. Require that stylesheets style the HTML element rather than the
     BODY element.

  8. Documents should not use the <meta http-equiv="Content-Type">
     element. (Actually this applies to all XHTML.)

  9. There should be no use of namespaces other than the XHTML one.
     (This is true of all valid XHTML elements anyway.)

 10. There should be no XML Stylesheet PIs anywhere. (See 3)

Overall, I think the language should be made more strict ("MUST"s
rather than "SHOULD" or "MAY"). Stricter requirements are a great help
when evangelising the use of correct markup.

Ian Hickson                                      )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
"meow"                                          /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
http://index.hixie.ch/                         `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Tuesday, 14 January 2003 19:24:53 UTC

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