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Re: Why DOCTYPE Declarations for XHTML?

From: Jan Roland Eriksson <jrexon@newsguy.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 17:50:26 +0100
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <ce698skg7q3qlp3niu9vtqjag5l6v62v3n@4ax.com>
On Tue, 18 Jan 2000 04:16:25 -0800, Murray Altheim <altheim@eng.sun.com>

>Jan Roland Eriksson wrote: 

>>   "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?)"

>Well, since almost the very beginning of my involvement with the
>W3C HTML WG I've had a module reserved for architectural use 

Well, a start has to be made somewhere of course, good.

>This module is still included in the distribution, but it's
>empty. I early on asked...

So if knowledgable help could be found, there's nothing else that stands
in the way for that module, in it self, to be completed then?

>There was a period of time when I thought I could not only lobby...
>The mechanisms that Arjun and Eliot are talking about are not to
>my knowledge accepted by the W3C and I don't think it prudent to 
>push this. If AF declarations are to be made available, it would 
>have to continue to be somewhat a 'stealth' activity.

I think I have understood so far that much of it comes down to other
peoples already available software and not much that "upsets them" would
be accepted?

>...attend a meeting on topic maps, specified by a very recent
>ISO 13250. The ISO spec is pretty much all about architectures,
>and is based very much on the same concepts as what Eliot and
>Arjun are advocating as a functional technology.

The way I have understood it is that bringing AF correctly into XHTML
would at the same time bring XHTML in as a member of the SGML
"community" and make it possible to use XHTML for other purposes then
just being a markup language targeted for browsers on the www.
I hope I'm right on that.

>The spec is written by some real SGML geeks (no pejorative
>intended - I have high respect for all of them). But do you think 
>my proposal to the W3C will be using AFs? No, I'll probably have to
>hide them under the covers and use namespaced attributes. Hopefully
>there is some way to find a middle ground that is politically feasible
>and still maintains the necessary hooks into the ISO spec so that the
>AF engines can make sense of things. That's what I was initially hoping
>to do with XHTML, but I don't know how to pull that off anymore.

Don't give up just yet :) FWIW I'l see if I can help to contribute with


>The world is moving away from Goldfarb, like it or not.

So I have understood. Never the less I find the topic interesting, just
so difficult to understand at times, when I have to study just by my
self without the support of a good teacher. (and I'm probably all to old
for this any way after I have well passed 50:)

But I think I have got the real "Aha! experience" on the inherent beauty
of descriptive markup at least. How to make it useful insides computers
and networks is the next step, so I listen and try to understand what I
get from those who knows more than I do.


>Standards work is at best a compromise, and I'm trying to provide
>a simple architecture for XHTML that can be used in all sorts of 
>ways within the limited scope of what can be provided by current
>XML parsers: markup validation as according to the XML 1.0 REC. 
>I'm already considered an SGML radical by many of them. Go figure.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you then :)
And have a good trip to Alexandria.

Jan Roland Eriksson <jrexon@newsguy.com>
Received on Tuesday, 18 January 2000 11:45:16 UTC

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