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Re: is anyone interested in XHTML?

From: Murray Altheim <altheim@eng.sun.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 01:10:49 -0800
Message-ID: <38AD0C99.ED88CC0@eng.sun.com>
To: "Russell Steven Shawn O'Connor" <roconnor@uwaterloo.ca>
CC: W3C HTML <www-html@w3.org>
Russell Steven Shawn O'Connor wrote:
> I must admit that I haven't been excited over XHTML.  It actually goes
> back to HTML 4.0 for me.  I was quite disappointed with the size and
> giving in to frames etc.

XHTML 1.0 is simply a mapping of HTML 4.0 into XML. This was originally
the plan, and we've followed it. XHTML 1.1 and 2.0 will hopefully please
you a bit more. If you want smaller, XHTML Basic is a very functional
subset, not just for use on small devices.

> It was also about this time I started to learn aobut WebSGML and
> Architectural forms.  I've more or less come to the conclusion that the
> W3C is reinventing the wheel, and not doing a very good joba with it
> forms, WebSGML, groves, HyTime etc., all are better products than DOM,
> XLINK, XML, etc. (IMHO).
> So I want to focus on figuring out how to use these tools, rather that
> watch the W3C walk down the wrong path. (IMHO again).

For what it's worth, as token SGML geek in the HTML WG, I've been trying
to bridge the gap between these two worlds as much as possible. There
are some very good specs and some very bad specs coming out of the W3C,
just like any other producer (somebody used the movie industry as 
analogy). I won't mention the bad ones (although namespaces certainly 
gets an honorable mention), but XSLT is a Very Good Movie. There will
hopefully be others. I and others disagree (as must seem obvious by 
now) with many of the architectural decisions taken by various factions
within the W3C, but hopefully we can come to reasonable compromise. 

I appreciate Tim Berners-Lee's conciliatory comments in this regard, 
and hope that there will be recognition of the broad audience that they
are responsible to. Steven Newcomb for one has oft talked about the 
tremendous responsibility we all share in improving this thing we call
the Web. I don't hold to the idea that any one person or group has
any special access to the Right Way. Part of my problem with the 
approach taken by some in the W3C is to exclude alternative solutions,
even when they don't do damage to the W3C solution.

I've been working with Arjun Ray on a technical compromise that I think
doesn't betray the W3C's goals, but allows XHTML 1.1 to be used as a 
base architecture (for those interested in such things). If this 
solution survives the W3C process, it is very similar to the approach
taken by ISO 15445:2000 ("ISO HTML"). It'd be great if the next version
of XML also included the ability to declare notation types for attribute
values (section K.4.4.3 of Annex K of WebSGML, ISO 8879 TC2). Since we
already have NOTATION types for element content in XML 1.0, this would
complete the picture. I will lobby for this inclusion, and we'll see
what happens.

I see no reason (apart from politics) why XHTML can't be suitable as 
both a W3C XML markup language and a fully-fledged member of the 
XML-as-WebSGML community of specs. That at least is my goal, to the 
effect that I can affect it.


Murray Altheim                            <mailto:altheim&#x40;eng.sun.com>
XML Technology Center
Sun Microsystems, Inc., MS MPK17-102, 1601 Willow Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025

   the honey bee is sad and cross and wicked as a weasel 
   and when she perches on you boss she leaves a little measle -- archy
Received on Friday, 18 February 2000 04:11:12 UTC

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