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RE: Tag Soup (was: FW: XHTML)

From: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 09:49:03 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
To: Jelks Cabaniss <jelks@jelks.nu>
cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.4.10.9912030936000.868-100000@OEMCOMPUTER>
On Fri, 3 Dec 1999, Jelks Cabaniss wrote:

> Arjun Ray wrote:
> 
> > The tragedy is that a formal spec for Tag Soup was never written.
> 
> Especially since it's going to be around for a long, long time.
> 
> Even if UAs next year onward reject any and all malformed
> documents declaring themselves with XHTML DOCTYPEs and
> namespaces, if they can't also grok Tag Soup, who in the General
> Public would want to use them?  Content is what is important,
> and the GP cares less if the content is encrypted in Tag Soup.
> 
> So UAs with real XML/SGML parsers will still need a TAGSOUP.DLL
> for the foreseable future ...

My work on HTML Tidy was motivated by an attempt to deal with this
by providing an Open Source solution for converting Tag Soup
documents into something easier to process.

One problem in writing a formal spec for tag soup is that there
are significant differences between Navigator and IE. Microsoft's
reverse engineering team got it close, but not close enough. In any
event, few people have expressed a common need for such a spec.
Discussions over time in the various HTML working groups have tended
to be prescriptive, focussing on how people should write rather that
what they do write in practice. Browser implementers are required to
take a more pragmatic view though, and the existing specs are just
the tip of the iceberg.

As we move forward, I am hoping that the specs and what you need
to implement in products will get progressively closer together,
which will make it easier to ensure full interoperability.

Regards,

-- Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett
tel/fax: +44 122 578 3011 (or 2521) +44 385 320 444 (mobile)
World Wide Web Consortium (on assignment from HP Labs)
Received on Friday, 3 December 1999 04:50:07 GMT

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