W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > March 1999

(unknown charset) Re: XHTML

From: (unknown charset) Frank Boumphrey <bckman@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 17:16:48 -0500
Message-ID: <000c01be6ffa$b38fb780$17addccf@ix.netcom.com>
To: (unknown charset) <www-html@w3.org>, "George Woolley" <george@metaart.org>
I'm not sure what Dan said, I wasn't at the talk, but one think is clear,
and should be clear from readingthe note, and that is that XHTML should be
no more difficult to write than HTML

1. The elements are almost identical
2. The Attributes for the elements are also almost identical. The only
attribute that HAVE to be included are those that HAVE to be included in
HTML (e.g. alt and src attributes of the img tag)

The major differences are spelt out in the draft, but can be summarized as

1. The Public identifier is different
2. There should be a namespace reference on the html element
3. ALL attributes must be given values values and the values must be quoted.
4. ALL tags and attributes must be lower case.
5. Empty elements such as <br> and <img> must take the xml form of <br/> and
<img/>. For down level interoperability it is recommended that the be a
space before the forward slash i.e. <br />
6. All elements must have a closing tag ie
<p> Some text


<p>Some text</p>

7. The <head> and <body> tags cannot be ommited.

8. The <title> element is compulsory (as it is in HTML 4.0) and it also must
be the first element in the <head> element.

This ease of entry for those who want it
>is a major social value of HTML as it currently exists.

As an educator I will assert that XHTML is as easy, if not easier to learn
than HTML!

The main bugaboo as far as I am concerned is the requirement for lower case.
I was an upper case guy myself, but recently I have been using lower case,
and although I won't admit to liking it I am not seriously inconvienienced.

Without giving anything away I think I can say that the WG had to make a
decision on the case issue, and it was made. As someone said "Case is
religion, there are going to be screams whatever we do!". I would reiterate
that mixed case is NOT an option in XML based languages.

Frank Boumphrey (Speaking for myself and not the W3C)

----- Original Message -----
From: George Woolley <george@metaart.org>
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 1999 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: XHTML

>???? the basics of HTML
>(sufficient to create an information oriented site),
>can be taught in less than an hour.
>There's not a lot of clutter
>and contrast can be used to increase clarity.
>And there is no need to buy a special editor to get started.
>This ease of entry for those who want it
>is a major social value of HTML as it currently exists.
>XHTML 1.0 as specified significantly undermines
>the ease of learning and reading HTML.
>We'll have a lot more tags in our code
>and a lot less possibility of contrasts.
>I was at the talk by Daniel Austin
>(that Dan Meriwether referred to)
>where he told us of the requirement
>for including every attribute in an element.
>If he is correct, HTML code would (in my opinion)
>become a sort of Dilbert like sick joke.
>Some people don't get why anybody cares.
>Indeed, at the same talk Daniel Austin said
>that we should think of HTML
>as having a similar role to PostScript.
>And since most of us don't expect PostScript
>to be easily readable,
>we should not expect HTML to be either.
>Silly me, I thought HTML purported to be
>a mark up language for humans (among other things).
>Why am I concerned?
>Because a major social value of HTML
>is in the process of being destroyed.
>1) Could someone let Daniel Austin know
>   that his talk has been referred to here twice now?
>   Or alternatively, could someone send me
>   his e-mail address so I can let him know?
>2) Could someone from W3C
>   comment on whether they are committed
>   to the social value referred to above?
>3) Does anyone know of a specification
>   (actual or under consideration)
>   that involves anything like the proliferation of attributes
>   that Daniel Austin talked about?
>>At 17:29 15/03/99 -0500, Dan Meriwether wrote:
>>>For the sake of readability, by humans, let the XHTML elements be all
>>There are text editors that can present markup in an highlightned way,
>>usually using a different color.
>>>It is also somewhat bizarre to specify that the attribute values must
>>>be in lower case. What about SRC and HREF attributes? Are you saying that
>>>my entire directory structure now needs to be in lower case?
>>No. this applies to attribute values that are case insensitive in SGML
>>and not to those those that are case sensitive.
>>In SGMLish HTML you can have Align="Center" but in XHTML
>>it must be align="center"
>>URIs are case sensitive, so is the alt attribute of <img> etc. and
>>they may have mixed case. BUT they also have different meaning when
>>they differ only by case.
>>>Recently Daniel Austin mentioned, quite strenuously, that very element
>>>must have every attribute available to it declared within it. In other
>>>words, when I specify a <TABLE> all 9 attributes must be present,...
>>I think that this is not true.
>>Nir Dagan
>>"There is nothing quite so practical as a good theory."
>>-- A. Einstein
Received on Tuesday, 16 March 1999 17:17:52 UTC

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