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RE: Is this legal XHTML 1.1?

From: Richard Norman <normri@samc.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2002 10:10:10 -0800
Message-Id: <sdfef881.024@samc.com>
To: <www-html@w3.org>

Sorry about the HYPERLINK text that duplicates the URL.  I am using
Outlook connecting to the GroupWise Client through MAPI.  Some stuff
gets scrambled in the translation.
I just like the look and feel of Outlook a little better.
Richard Norman

-----Original Message-----
From: "Richard Norman" <normri@samc.com> 
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 9:17 AM
To: <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: <jelks@jelks.nu>, <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>, <www-html@w3.org>
Subject: RE: Is this legal XHTML 1.1?

See inline comments below. 
Richard Norman 

_____Original Message_____ 
From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> 
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 10:46 PM 
To: Richard Norman <normri@samc.com> 
Cc: "jelks@jelks.nu" <jelks@jelks.nu>, "bzbarsky@MIT.EDU" 
<bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>, "www_html@w3.org" <www_html@w3.org> 
Subject: RE: Is this legal XHTML 1.1? 

On Mon, 16 Dec 2002, Richard Norman wrote: 
> Ok, after this post is all said and done, what are we in the business 

> world to do? For those who are not allowed to send dynamic content to 

> adjust the MIME type on the fly, what are our alternatives? 

Use HTML 4.01 is the most obvious possibility. 

Authors don't use CSS3 yet, so why do they use XHTML 1.1? 

It took 6 years for CSS1 to go from spec to being truly usable __ why 
people not expect to wait as long for XHTML? 

[{Richard Norman}] Well it may take that long to be adopted fully, but 
it has already been nearly 4 years since HTML 4.01 was released.  While 
it is true that not all browsers are fully compliant with the standards 
today, that is no reason for developers not to stay up to date and 
current with the specifications.  If you do not practice the language 
constructs, how do you expect to learn.  That is the goal here..  And 
some people learn by actually creating pages. If it is technically WRONG

to create pages and serve them up as "text/html" then, we need to know 
if there are alternatives for the time being.  If not, then we must 
continue until the [browser] industry catches up. I started creating web

pages on EMACS and a Unix workstation.  But all I could do was create 
pages and look at them locally ( using HYPERLINK "file://" \nfile://
links; I had not real web 
server back then).  In essence I am doing the same thing here but I now 
have access to a real web server.  Besides, I am using XHTML 1.0 
Transitional to get familiar with the constructs first. 

> I personally am moving towards XHTML 


[{Richard Norman}] Again see above, but one other reason is one of the 
mottos I develop by.  "If you are not leading then you are being left 
behind."  If you are saying to me "Don't worry about XHTML for 6 years..

Be happy with HTML 4.01" then, what you are telling me (at least what it

appears to be saying) is that you need to stay behind until the industry

catches up.  And if that is the case, why are we spending so much energy

on XHTML 1.1 and XHTML 2.0 when the industry has not really even caught 
up with HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0 fully? 

[{Richard Norman}] Not trying to belittle the problem at all ( I 
personally feel that many tags in HTML needed cleaning up and more 
clarification), but the root of the debate for me is not wither or not 
to start your migration, but how to best proceed.  For me right now 
XHTML 1.0 transitional is the best way to proceed, but I need to 
understand all the gotchas involved with proceeding. Even if it is just 
for the sake of my own understanding, the fact the we need to understand

all the ramifications is the most important thing while we convert our 
thinking form the HTML world to a more structured XHTML world. 

> And when the backward compatibility is not as necessary, we can them 

> switch the document to .XML or setup the .XHTML extension on the 
> server... 

I guarentee that you will hit problems when you do this. There is no 
reason why you have to switch existing content to XHTML __ for example 
billions of HTML 3.2 documents out there are never going to be 
So why use XHTML now, when you _know_ that it is going to give you 
when you evetually convert? 
[{Richard Norman}] 

While most documents will just be rewritten, others that are newly 
generated (from notepad, Emacs, or even GUI tools) will need some 
tweaking to be fully compliant.  That is the kind of understanding that 
needs to be done in order to allow this conversion to happen.  If no one

actually uses the tools in a real world scenario, then the Specs are 
useless.  That is why the questions and the thinking going on is 
important. If HTML 4.01 was good enough, then there will never be a 
reason for the migration to XHTML. 

I leave you with the following quote from the W3C web page on HTML 

" HYPERLINK "http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Activity"
\nhttp://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Activity" HYPERLINK
4.0, created by W3C, became a Recommendation in December 1997. A 
revision, HTML 4.01 was published in December 1999."..."During 1999, 
HTML 4 was re_cast in XML and the resulting XHTML 1.0 became a W3C 
Recommendation in January 2000. Work has continued during 2000 through 
2001 on modularizing XHTML, producing new profiles of XHTML, and 
planning for the future. 

XHTML 1.0 brings the Web of the future to content authors today. It is 
a reformulation of HTML 4 in XML, bringing the rigor of XML to HTML, and

can be put to immediate use with existing browsers by following a few 
simple guidelines." 

It is those guidelines that everyone need to understand to make it all 
work.  That is why the work on conversion should take place where it 

Ian Hickson                                      )\._.,__....,'``.   
"meow"                                          /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ 
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Received on Tuesday, 17 December 2002 13:12:58 UTC

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