W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > August 2001

Re: XHTML 2.0: Where Is It Going?

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 21:51:03 +0100
Message-ID: <00c801c1275e$7168fec0$44d993c3@Palmer>
To: "Bjoern Hoehrmann" <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Cc: <www-html@w3.org>
> > If (as the roadmap infers) XHTML 2.0 is just a redrafting
> > of XHTML to make it "pure XML", I think that would be
> > a mistake. [...]

Apologies again: this was just terrible writing on my behalf, and has
apparently lead to a lot of confusion in the rest of your reply.

> If backwards compatibility means everything to you, you won't
> use anything but HTML 4.01 Transitional or even better HTML
> 3.2 [...]

I tend to use headings, paragraphs, some inline phrasing, HyperText links,
and occasionally images. I try to use metadata, but the HTML metadata
elements aren't all that great. But all of these mechanisms are backwards
compatable going all the way to Mosaic, and all of which are included
within XHTML 1.0, 1.1, and Basic.

For the record: HTML 4.01 Transitional is pretty poor. Presentational
markup... ugh.

> [...] if you want backwards compatibility you must label your
> pseudo-XHTML document as text/html and to do this, you
> must follow the combatibility guidelines of XHTML 1.0 and
> that's not possible for XHTML 1.1 or XHTML Basic 1.0
> without a major lost of functionality.

Er... pardon me? Theorectically, all that you lose is the functionality to
XSLT transform documents, and practically, XSLT transformation interfaces
online take content with text/html MIME type as long as it's XML. And OTOH
you gain the ability of millions, perhaps even billions of people worldwide
to view your documents. It's not much of a difficult decision.

> You currently can't use text/xhtml (supported by Opera5) or
> application/xhtml+xml (supported by current Mozilla and the
> registration is currently an Internet Draft) since they aren't
> registered at IANA

Oh please, like I'd even want to! What fantasy world are we creating HTML
documents for these days? We're stuck with text/html, and it's a mess. TS
at the moment: but that doesn't mean we serve 1.0 as XML. It means that we
start again with 2.0.

> So the way to go for XHTML documents is labeling as
> application/xhtml+xml and all older browsers will reject
> to render documents labeld as such which is quite
> reasonable since they don't support XHTML.

Well, I am being harsh. I know all about the theoretical mess that XHTML
1.0/1.1/Basic/m12n have created with MIME types etc. (I've been following
the discussions on www-talk very closely), but really, getting people to
serve their current XHTML documents (excluding 2.0) using new MIME types
and expecting some strange new functionality is just not practical. The
MIME mess concerns me, but it doesn't bother me too much, because the Web
still works.

> It is not possible to deliver XHTML document to user
> agents that don't support XHTML, so there is no need
> to design XHTML 2.0 backwards compatible with
> current user agents; it's not even possible.

Of course not! When have I ever suggested that XHTML 2.0 should be
backwards compatable??? I did infer that it should be backwards
transformable, but I accept that there many be a certiain amount of data
lost when converting back into old HTML formats. That's to be expected, but
can be solved to a certain extent by a link back to the XHTML 2.0 source.

> XHTML 2.0 will replace the proprietary methods from
> XHTML 1.0 (linking, forms, meta data, etc.) by general
> purpose XML technologies, [...]

That will be good if so, but I'm not getting my hopes up too high. It's a
difficult task.

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
:Sean :hasHomepage <http://purl.org/net/sbp/> .
Received on Friday, 17 August 2001 16:50:49 UTC

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