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Re: Why DOCTYPE Declarations for XHTML?

From: Jan Roland Eriksson <rex@css.nu>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 20:18:01 -0500 (EST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <sna78sk8b8n5dpndg0d3f975ce9bjpcj40@4ax.com>
On Mon, 17 Jan 2000 12:11:10 -0800, Murray Altheim <altheim@eng.sun.com>

>"W. Eliot Kimber" wrote:


>> Why should XHTML require the the feature of SGML that XML correctly
>> worked so hard to eliminate (DOCTYPE declarations) when the use of it is
>> not reliable as a way to define types, for all the reasons I've stated
>> many times?

>Simple answer: there's not a conformant XML parser alive today that does
>anything other than use DOCTYPE to declare what document type definition
>a document conforms to...

That part of it might change of course, given a situation where we have
suitable requirements on parsers to be fulfilled.

>and as you well know (being to my knowledge part of the reason you
>left the XML WG), the emperor doesn't like PIs. We've been told
>repeatedly to avoid use of PIs for anything fundamental.

Well, well now. The true "emperor" of W3 took one step "down" only last
week, to become the "worlds software architect manager for the future",
surely we can all expect him to come up with fully understandable
descriptions and implementations of how all of us "normal dumb-asses"
are supposed to read, understand and use (X)HTML.

If I, by my own mistake, made my sarcastic remark on "the emperor"
wrong, I might have my next big assignment as being "the one that must
force Abigail to change her sigfile"

But basically, what you "have been told", from whatever source that may
be, goes straight against what the world is saying in the ISO/IEC
_international_ standard for HTML4.


(section 9.2 is of interest here)

And as both Mr Kimber and Arjun has pointed out on several occasions,
the effort needed from the WG to create something of the same for XHTML
is so fantastically simple, so we all can have the same level of
recognition built into XHTML already from the start of it.

Let me quote Arjun here, since it seems to me that his request was
modest and simple enough to be of use for all of us...

  "Is it too much to ask that the specs (say, the
   Modularization document) provide for the definition
   of a FPI with public text class NOTATION to identify
   the "abstract document type"?  (E.g. in the "Naming Rules"
   section, something like how replacing 'DTD' with 'NOTATION'
   should be taken as the "official" definition?)"

(and you did ask for serious and constructive input, right?)

"Dumb-asses" like my self, may have spent numbers of hours on Prof.
Goldfarb's book, flipping the two built in bookmarks around as well as
adding a few new once of our own, tried our best to understand good
input from highly knowledgable people that we have been fortunate enough
to meet on the web, in NG's and sometimes in private e-mail.

Still I don't know/understand more than just a fraction of the full
story yet, but do you... (Murray and others unknown) really want me to
go on learning the rest of it, knowing that somewhere along the line
"they decided to obfuscate the truth for me" ?

Jan Roland Eriksson <rex@css.nu> .. <URL:http://css.nu/>
Received on Tuesday, 18 January 2000 04:43:53 UTC

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