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Re: XHTML2 MIME type

From: William F Hammond <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
Date: 11 Apr 2003 08:55:10 -0400
To: Herr Christian Wolfgang Hujer <Christian.Hujer@itcqis.com>
Cc: Mikko Rantalainen <mira@cc.jyu.fi>, www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <i74r55gpn5.fsf@hilbert.math.albany.edu>

Herr Christian Wolfgang Hujer <Christian.Hujer@itcqis.com> writes:

> My argument pro recycling application/xhtml+xml:
> RFC 3236 denotes the possibility that application/xhtml+xml will be
> used for future versions of XHTML (while the RFC 2854 about
> text/html restricts its usage on HTML and XHTML 1.0).

Read RFC 2854 carefully:

:  1. Introduction and background
:  ...
:  The IETF HTML working group closed Sep 1996, and work on defining
:  HTML moved to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The proposed
:  extensions were incorporated to some extent in [HTML32], and to a
:  larger extent in [HTML40]. The definition of multipart/form-data from
:  [UPLOAD] was described in [FORMDATA]. In addition, a reformulation of
:  HTML 4.0 in XML 1.0[XHTML1] was developed.
:  ...
:  2. Registration of MIME media type text/html
:  ...
:  Published specification:
:    The text/html media type is now defined by W3C Recommendations;
:    the latest published version is [HTML401].  In addition, [XHTML1]
:    defines a profile of use of XHTML which is compatible with HTML
:    4.01 and which may also be labeled as text/html.
:  ...

It states that the definition of the type "text/html" is to be found
in W3C recommendations.  (RFC 3236 simply registers the type
"application/xhtml+xml".)  Do current W3C recommendations cover the
mime field well?

> I think it makes life a lot easier when application/xhtml+xml is
> used, since neither updates to existing RFCs nor new RFCs would be
> required.

"application/xhtml+xml" is of limited usefulness while IE does not
support it.  (Does IE want to think about Gecko?)  That aside, it
could be useful in the future as the content type for XML documents
whose root namespace is some version of html.

Furthermore, W3C could at some point take the position that
"text/html" may be used for XHTML under conditions that extend the
condition cited in RFC 2854.  For that what might make sense is XHTML
documents residing in the root namespace of html extended by a limited
set of common additional namespaces such as mathml, ruby, and svg.
That is, the difference between "text/html" and
"application/xhtml+xml" would then be that the former consists of
documents strictly under a common list of element types for which all
user agents have native knowledge and provide default rendering, while
the latter require a user agent that must be able to handle "unknown"
element types using presentation style (CSS or XSL-FO).

                                    -- Bill
Received on Friday, 11 April 2003 08:55:33 UTC

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