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

Re: Doctypes, Declarations, and HTML Versions

From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 00:46:29 -0400 (EDT)
To: W3C HTML <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.991004001002.9682E-100000@mail.q2.net>

On Sun, 3 Oct 1999, Russell Steven Shawn O'Connor wrote:

> So I've read over the specifications for XHTML 1.0 and I'm surprised by
> it. 

Right now, the spec reads more like a position paper, i.e. a statement of
direction, elaborating a policy decision, rather than a complete formal
spec.  The issues with it are thus more substantive than technical.

> I had no idea that migrating to XML would break so much.  

I assume you're talking about Section 4 and Appendix C - i.e. that even
the infinitesimal fraction of HTML documents today which manage, perhaps
by accident, to be SGML-compliant still won't be XML-compliant.  And the
insignificant minority of "editors" and the like which manage to extrude
SGML-compliant HTML will have to be modified also. 

The biggest nudge-nudge-wink-wink of all, of course, has to do with "user

> HTML has always been a big hack.  Now it's much bigger. 

Well, SGML was always a poor fit for HTML-in-practice.  XML is an even
poorer fit.

> Also shouldn't the XHTML 1.0 specs define the semantics of the elements? 
> I was expecting a clause saying ``The semantics of the elements of XHTML
> 1.0 are the same as the semantics of the elements of HTML 4.01'', but I
> can't seem to find such a statements. 

I think that's the intent of Section 1 "What is XHTML?"

: XHTML is a family of current and future document types and modules that
: reproduce, subset, and extend HTML 4.0 [HTML].[...] The details of this
: family and its evolution are discussed in more detail in the section on
: Future Directions.

I agree, though, that an explicit statement to incorporate semantics would
have been nice.

Received on Monday, 4 October 1999 00:06:10 UTC

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