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Re: Is XHTML 1.0 2nd ed. Section 4.3 really informative?

From: ITO Tsuyoshi <tsuyoshi@is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp>
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2001 16:58:19 +0900 (JST)
Message-Id: <20011222.165819.68560942.tsuyoshi@is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp>
To: www-html@w3.org
Dear Mr. Ishikawa and other subscribers,

Masayasu Ishikawa <mimasa@w3.org> wrote:
> ITO Tsuyoshi <tsuyoshi@is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp> wrote:
> > To me, it is natural to forbid shorthand representation such as
> > ``<span />'', because HTML 4.01 parsers might regard it as the
> > beginning of an element, look for the corresponding end tag and get
> > confused.  Therefore, I am afraid that some statement is missing in
> > the normative part of the Working Draft.
> 
> That's just an HTML compatibility issue and mentioned in an informative
> Appendix C.3 [1].  If you wish to serve your XHTML 1.0 document to
> HTML user agents, you SHOULD follow that guideline.  For XHTML user
> agents, "<span></span>" or "<span />" must not make any difference.

Just a confirmation, but is it really what the original XHTML
specification meant?  Not that I am suspecting.  I'd like to make
things clear because at least Section 4.3 in the first edition
apparently required end tags of the elements that are not declared as
EMPTY (e.g. <span>) for an XHTML document to be conforming.

If that restriction is not a necessary condition for Conforming XHTML
Documents but merely a suggestion for them to be compatible with
existing HTML parsers, the word ``must'' in the sentence of Section
4.3 which I quoted before might be confusing:
> All elements other than those declared in the DTD as EMPTY must have
> an end tag.

In addition, if the intent of Section 4 is to explain by examples what
are Conforming XHTML Documents and what are not, I think the sentence
in question is not in the right place.  It might be better to remove
that sentence because, as you said, an informative Appendix C.3
already states the same thing clearly in the context of HTML
compatibility.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,
-- ITO Tsuyoshi  <tsuyoshi@is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp> --
-- Department of Information Science           --
--                  in the University of Tokyo --
Received on Sunday, 23 December 2001 07:50:45 GMT

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