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Re: Request for change to XHTML Basic

From: Murray Altheim <altheim@eng.sun.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000 14:24:36 -0800
Message-ID: <387CFF24.D08D52F1@eng.sun.com>
CC: "www-html@w3.org" <www-html@w3.org>
John Cowan wrote:
> Define a second conformance level, XHTML Minimal, which excludes forms.
> This would in essence be a modern version of HTML 1.0, and as such
> very useful for static documents that need a little markup, or for
> documentation entries in other XML document types (which typically
> just have a DOC element allowing #PCDATA only, or something of the sort).
> XHTML Minimal would be a standards-compliant successor to my own IBTWSH
> (Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Simple Hypertext) DTD, an XML DTD based on
> HTML 4.0.  See http://www.ccil.org/~cowan/XML/ibtwsh.dtd .
> The cost is small: a new paragraph or two, a few new public ids, a trivially
> different DTD.
> (Note: This message has already been sent to html-editors.)

The differences between Minimal (which I already build as a test case 
based on our abstract definition of the minimal required set of modules)
and XHTML Basic are essentially:


While I see the utility of Minimal, this morning the WG decided against
this with the idea that having too many conformance levels damages the
applicability of XHTML Basic, which is currently being endorsed by many
of the small device vendors, with possible merging of WML in the future.
We still have some discussion planned on this topic, and the issue 
remains open.

I agree that table-handling code is bulky, forms support requires widget
and event-binding code, images require image libraries, etc. and that on
small devices (or for simple text documentation needs) the Minimal DTD
would likely suffice. The question is whether or not the HTML WG will 
publish this DTD driver as part of the XHTML Recommendation. Anyone is
"legally" allowed to create such a beast. It's what we define as the 
minimal module set in the XHTML family.

The major argument against it is that XHTML Basic seems to have very good
endorsement already from many device manufacturers in that space, and that
the presence of Minimal would create too many target document types. I 
remain somewhat neutral on the issue, as the cost to me as DTD implementor
is nil (I've already done the work). And too many DTDs is not a thought
in my universe.


Murray Altheim, SGML Grease Monkey         <mailto:altheim&#64;eng.sun.com>
Member of Technical Staff, Tools Development & Support
Sun Microsystems, 901 San Antonio Rd., UMPK17-102, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4900

   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 Wednesday, 12 January 2000 17:23:40 UTC

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