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Re: Doctypes, Declarations, and HTML Versions

From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 1999 18:23:24 -0400 (EDT)
To: W3C HTML <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.991002180405.9682A-100000@mail.q2.net>

On Sat, 2 Oct 1999, Russell Steven Shawn O'Connor wrote:

> > Of course, this leaves open the real issue, which is how to convey the
> > *semantic* import of a version specification.  Unofrtunately, ISO8879
> > doesn't provide a way.  All we know is that the doctype declaration
> > definitely does not qualify.
> Last year I suggested durring the ``Future of HTML'' discussions, that
> the W3C adopt an HTML Architecture. This would actually provide
> semantics for HTML in a standard way. 

Not only should this have been done long ago - it *was* the way to make
"facilitate experimentation and interoperability" something more than
high-minded handwaving - but, IMHO, HTML should have been redefined as a
family of architectures.  Basically, HTML grew by haphazard accretion.  It
has all the design elegance and consistency of a bag of potatoes.  Rather
than insist on some monolithic (meta-)DTD, modularization - e.g. Forms,
Tables, Lists, Outlines, etc. - makes much more sense.
Either way, HTML conformance should have been defined as a matter of
architectural (i.e. mappable) validity.  (This allows "experimentation" 
without automatically violating the currently misguided requirement of
conformance to a fixed DTD.) 

> Instead the W3C has choosen to develop XHTML as an XML implementation. 

XML is a new hammer.  Everything else is therefore a nail. 

> I actally haven't looked at the XHTML specs yet, so I don't know whether
> it resolves these issues or not. 

It hasn't.  There's some stuff to invoke "namespaces", but that's only the
latest bogosity in fashion. 

Received on Saturday, 2 October 1999 17:42:50 UTC

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