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Re: The HTML Element

From: Andy Holmes <aholmes84@shaw.ca>
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 22:28:02 -0700
To: Arthur Wiebe <webmaster@awiebe.com>, www-html@w3.org
Message-id: <3EEFF862.6020807@shaw.ca>

Arthur Wiebe wrote:

> Reinthaler, Frank wrote:
> 
>>I agree XHTML is HTML and the root element shouldn't change.
>>
>>regards,
>>Frank Reinthaler
>>
> I don't agree. XHTML is XML-based and HTML isn't. HTML is the past, 
> XHTML is the future.

I'm not saying XHTML isn't something new or something different, but we 
aren't reinventing the wheel here. To use a rather simple analogy, we're 
switching from the old wooden spoked wheels to air inflated rubber 
tires, but it's still a wheel.

> XHTML is designed to work in conjunction with XML-based user agents. 
> HTML is taken from SGML and works on HTML user agents. XHTML is taken 
> from XML with a lot of it being just like HTML.
> HTML is old. XHTML is it's successor. Changing the root element to 
> <xhtml> would have advantages. Even if you can't see any at the moment. 

Like I said, unless you come up with some actual *reason* or *purpose* 
for changing the name of the root element, it is only a novelty. If a 
web developer needs a root element to tell him he's writing XHTML, then 
I think he needs to go read a few more tutorials.

> One advantage is that it would lessen confusion. People would know 
> better if it was XHTML 2, XHTML 1.x, or HTML. And the browsers would too.

If a web developer needs a root element to tell him he's writing XHTML, 
then I think he needs to go read a few more tutorials.

As for browsers recognizing XHTML, this is what the 
application/xhtml+xml mime-type is for. Doing such a thing just 
encourages bad behaviour such as that which Internet Explorer and 
Windows in general displays quite clearly by relying on superficial 
hints like file extensions.

> It's to bad it wasn't changed in XHTML 1.0. But we can still change the 
> future.
> <Arthur/>

Just because XHTML 2 will be somewhat backwards-incompatible doesn't 
mean we have to make it even harder for people with older browsers. I 
think you are taking something trivial and irrelevant and making a big 
deal out of it.

-Andy
Received on Wednesday, 18 June 2003 01:28:06 GMT

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