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RE: XHTML

From: Jelks Cabaniss <jelks@jelks.nu>
Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 13:54:56 -0400
To: "Rick Jelliffe" <ricko@gate.sinica.edu.tw>, <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NBBBICMNIPCICMKJECCBIEAJCMAA.jelks@jelks.nu>
Rick Jelliffe wrote:

> Recommendation:  The XHTML effort should split into three parts:
>
>  * XHTML, a version of HTML 4.0 which allows all XML features ...

Agreed.

>  * WFHTML, a interim version of XHTML which is compatible with generation 4
> and 5 browsers. ...
>   i) it only uses elements, data, comments, NCRs, the DOCTYPE declaration
> and the encoding PI;
>   ii) WF errors do not halt parsing; ...

I'm not sure that last one is a good idea.  Why would anyone bother if WF errors
don't halt processing?  If one is not interested in well-formedness or moving to
XML, he or she should just continue using HTML or Tag Soup.  If XML-based
parsing doesn't halt with WF errors, a WFHTML DOCTYPE becomes just as
meaningless as the bogus DOCTYPEs so often seen in current web pages.

> * An XHTML-to-WFHTML transformation recommendation. Webservers should
> support content-negotiation of XHTML or (WF)HTML. If a document is available
> as XHTML but not as (WF)HTML, then some on-the-fly, server-side
> transformation may be provided: a simple application or an XSL stylesheet
> for example.  In other words, transformation from XHTML to WFHTML should be
> transparent to users and to creators of XHTML data. In particular, a
> transformation that PIs should be placed in comments: <?xml version="1.0"?>
> should be <!--<?xml version="1.0"?>-->.  This would also discourage the
> deployment of processors which only accept XML subsets: a disasterous
> development.
>
> It seems to me that, even though this *seems* complicated, ...

Moving all web servers in the world to handle such transformations (even if all
*new* versions of Apache, IIS, etc. did it transparently) would likely prove the
"complicated" part. :)  Why have three parts?  Why not just real XHTML and XHTML
"Lite" (WFHTML), the latter which would have no XML Declaration, PIs wrapped in
<!-- -->, no CDATA sections, no internal subsets, and only decimal NCRs.  (I
don't know how one can do that *formally*: either it's XML or it's not.
Wouldn't one have to create an "XML Lite" Recommendation -- no CDATA, etc. -- to
base it on?  :)

The real purpose of dumbing down XHTML is to placate the "Level 3" contingent;
has the W3C stated how long it plans to retard progress for the benefit of
affirmative action?

/Jelks
Received on Friday, 21 May 1999 13:56:49 GMT

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