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Re: Advance Publication of Modularization of XHTML CR document

From: <AndrewWatt2001@aol.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2000 16:33:02 EDT
Message-ID: <46.b6da34d.270cedfe@aol.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
CC: janet@w3.org, steven.pemberton@cwi.nl, quint@w3.org, dsr@w3.org (Dave Raggett), mimasa@w3.org, XHTML-L@egroups.com
In a message dated 04/10/00 17:09:37 GMT Daylight Time, janet@w3.org writes:

> Late yesterday, W3C published the Modularization of XHTML as a Candidate
>  Recommendation, and posted links on the W3C Home page [0] and the TR
>  page [1].
>  
>  While the document is in consideration for CR, it had yet to officially
>  advance. As a result, we have had to pull the document from public view,
>  as it is not confirmed as a CR. You will see this notice very soon on
>  the W3C homepage.
>  
>  In any event, the current document as of now is the Last Call Working
>  Draft [2]. The WG may republish the proposed CR as a Working Draft, with
>  a changed status of the document section. These will also be announced
>  on the W3C home page when they are published.
>  
>  Please accept our apologies for the confusion this has caused.
>  
>  [0] http://www.w3.org/
>  [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/
>  [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/WD-xhtml-modularization-20000105/
>  
>  
>  Regards,
>  
>  Janet Daly

Janet,

Many thanks for your email which clarifies the bizarre appearance and 
disappearance over the last 24 hours or so of documents on the W3C site 
relating to XHTML.

The current situation is, I suspect, unprecedented. However, I feel I should 
politely request that the document released on 3rd October is not approved as 
a Candidate Recommendation in the form so recently released.

A relatively brief examination of the PDF version of the withdrawn Candidate 
Recommendation discloses lack of clarity on several points.

For example, is this CR descriptive of XHTML 1.1 or not? It is not stated 
clearly. The first mention of "XHTML 1.1" is in a comment in code on page 66 
of the withdrawn CR.

What is the relationship of the CR to the WD of 5th January 2000 entitled 
"XHTML 1.1 Module-Based XHTML" (and any successor documents)? Again it is not 
immediately obvious. Has it been subsumed into the abortive CR? Was it 
intended that it should be? If it still exists should there not be a suitable 
cross reference? If it has been dropped should that not be stated?

Despite the absence of the term "XHTML 1.1" in the first 65 pages of the 
document many references to XHTML 1.1 appear in the latter part. There is 
considerable scope for improvement of clarity.

On Page 2 of the PDF version reference is made to a number of "major 
changes". Yet there is no change history in the document at all other than 
the brief bullet points on page 2. This is wholly inadequate in my view. If, 
for example, the recent work on namespaces is normative then I suggest that 
fuller information be given.

Simple factual errors such as that relating to the date of the previous WD of 
XHTML (page 2 of the PDF file) also suggests that editing is less than 
perfect.

My opinion is that the move to modularisation of XHTML is pivotal to the 
future of XHTML. It is therefore important that that move be carried out 
efficiently using documents which are clear, unambiguous and factually 
correct. I suggest that the CR of 3rd October 2000 has some way to go before 
it achieves that standard.

My suggestion of a need for further careful editing is intended primarily as 
a reminder of the importance of clear communication by W3C to an HTML 
community within which I believe there is currently significant scepticism 
about the value of XHTML. 

Suboptimal communication of XHTML Modules will hamper W3C's avowed goal of 
"leading the Web to its full potential".

If XHTML modules are not communicated well, then we may find W3C leading but 
a significant proportion of the HTML community not following.

Andrew Watt
Received on Wednesday, 4 October 2000 16:34:04 GMT

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