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Re: The X in HTML

From: Lachlan Cannon <luminosity@members.evolt.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2002 18:44:41 +1000
Message-ID: <3D58C6F9.2090405@members.evolt.org>
To: www-html@w3.org

Philip TAYLOR [PC335/O-XP] wrote:
> Many thanks, Jonny : so if I understand correctly
> (after an admittedly brief reading), the underlying
> idea is that an XHTML document shall always be statically
> parseable for validity by reference to the DTD, whereas 
> with the "Xtensibility through macros" idea which I was 
> postulating, parsing for validity wouldn't be possible until 
> after all macros had been expanded (which isn't necessarily
> a finite process).  I can certainly understand the desire
> for static parsability, but on the other hand the overheads
> of creating a custom DTD will, I suspect, make the
> eXtensibility of XHTML little-used in practice.  Is there
> really no case for a lightweight extensible language which
> would allow the author to use tags of his or her own
> choosing without the need for the formality of a DTD ?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the point of the set-up 
being this way is so that

a) markup tags are well thought out before being implemented -- you'd
want to have your tags well thought out before modifying the dtd, to
prevent having to do it again.

b) everyone and their dog won't go out and make up random, and in a
lot of cases pointless tags, and overlapping ones with different names.
Why would you spend 5 hours creating a DTD integrating animalML with
XHTML when someone else has done it? Re-use of DTDs saves bandwidth
(assuming they're cached), effort, time, and it means that applications
don't have to be developed for 1000s of different formats -- one of the
points of XML is saving the costs of transferring data between different
incompatible formats.

A barrier to entry is nearly always a good thing, as long as it's not 
too big. By creating this barrier to entry, documents won't be littered 
with meaningless, or stupid tags (eg <fUnKyT3xT>, <myC00lstuFF>). People 
who are interested enough to learn how to work with are are more likely 
to consider the semantics of a document.

Again, please correct me if I'm way off here.
Web: http://illuminosity.net/
E-mail: lach@illuminosity.net
MSN: luminosity @ members.evolt.org
Received on Tuesday, 13 August 2002 04:45:26 UTC

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