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Re: Why DOCTYPE Declarations for XHTML?

From: Murray Altheim <altheim@eng.sun.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 17:55:38 -0800
Message-ID: <3885199A.DAEA0E0@eng.sun.com>
To: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
CC: www-html@w3.org
Arjun Ray wrote:
> 
> On Tue, 18 Jan 2000, Murray Altheim wrote:
> > "W. Eliot Kimber" wrote:
> > > Murray Altheim wrote:
> 
> > > I'm not objecting to enabling validation. I'm only objecting to the
> > > requirement that conforming XHTML documents must use a particular form
> > > of DOCTYPE declaration (or even have a doctype declaration at all).
> >
> > If we eliminate the requirement on DTD validation, we not only allow
> > for other types of validation, we loosen the conformance requirements
> > to the point where it becomes *less* possible to ascertain that a
> > given instance is XHTML, not more.
> 
> But you don't have to, or need to, eliminate validation with respect to a
> specific DTD!  Part of the point here is that the requirement exists in
> normative prose only, until a standardized mechanism (such as AFDR, or a
> PI, or - &deity; forbid - some namespace kludgery) is mandated, because in
> any event, the doctype declaration is simply not the way even to *express*
> this.

I think you're missing the point I've tried to make over and over: we
can't walk on water. We have to use existing specifications for such
core functionality. It's not within the scope of the HTML WG activity
to be redesigning 'standardized mechanisms'. You should by now know 
that an AFDR or PI solution is simply not going to fly at the W3C; 
they just don't get it or don't like it or don't like those who speak 
a different language than they. And no kludgery will do -- it's GOTTA
be in a W3C RECOMMENDATION before we can use it. Just like XLink, which
can't be part of any XHTML REC before it reaches REC status itself. 

If I did a James Clark and submitted a NOTE using a PI, it wouldn't make
it past TimBL, who as I have already repeated said (and even included the
relevant quote) will simply not use PIs in any further W3C spec. It's 
right there in electronic ink in front of your eyes: NO PIs. And I don't
see how some namespace kludgery would do here either.

And yes, the DOCTYPE declaration *is* the way to express what we are
trying to express, just not what you're trying to express, which is
impossible. If you want to assist in filling out the AFDR for XHTML,
and think this is valuable please step up to the plate. If you like,
I could take a first stab at it. I'll be spending the next few days 
in Alexandria at the Topic Maps for the Web meeting, surrounded by 
AF people. I'm sure I can get some assistance there.

Murray

...........................................................................
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 Tuesday, 18 January 2000 20:54:37 GMT

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