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Re: Feedback on XHTML 2.0 WD (20030131)

From: Herr Christian Wolfgang Hujer <Christian.Hujer@itcqis.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 21:37:16 +0200
To: Toby A Inkster <tobyink@goddamn.co.uk>, "Reinthaler, Frank" <Frank.Reinthaler@auspost.com.au>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <200303312137.17900.Christian.Hujer@itcqis.com>

Hash: SHA1

Hello Toby, dear list members,

Am Montag, 31. März 2003 18:59 schrieb Toby A Inkster:
> On Mon, Mar 31, 2003 at 05:02:28PM +1000, Reinthaler, Frank wrote:
> | Perhaps because by enforcing the use of <meta name="DC.Title" /> we are
> | enforcing the use of the Dublin Core standard whereas authors may wish to
> | use other metadata schemes?
> It is possible to mix and match several metadata schemes. There is
> nothing to stop a document using a few DC's and a few AC's.
No, currently not, at least not because the metadata scheme is determined by 
the profile attribute of the head element and the profile describes only a 
single scheme which usually will be the case.
You could mix different schemes up to XHTML 1.1 (but not in the current XHTML 
2.0 WD), but usually only one could be from a certain profile.

> Whatsmore, use of the <title /> element is just another metadata
> scheme. We are already forcing people to use this metadata scheme, so
> what's so wrong about forcing the use of a different scheme instead.
> Once more, I say... scrap the <title/> element! You know it makes sense!
No, it doesn't make sense. Every document has a title. That's just specified, 
and I wouldn't change it.
The fact that someone could use <title></title> is as little an excuse for not 
making the title mandatory as someone could use <img src="..." alt=""/>.
The title element is somewhat meta data, yes. But then, why not drop link and 
base and style and script, they all are meta data of different schemes?
That's too far unification of elements. I think, the purposes could be taken 
to differ them into seperate elements:
<title/> for the document title
<link/> for the relationship to other resources
<script/> for scripts (active / runnable additional foreign embedded language)
<style/> for stylesheets (passive / declarative additional foreign embedded 
<meta/> for meta data of completely optional extension schemes.

<script/>, <title/> and <style/> will usually influence the rendering in most 
user agents, while <meta/>-data will not influence rendering in user agents.
<style/> is somewhat specific in modifying the default rendering of several 
elements and attributes, <script/> is somewhat specific in modifying the 
default behaviour (or whatsoever) of several elements and attributes, and 
title will modify the default title (usually window or tab title).
<meta/>-data may or may not influence the document's rendering, but usually it 
will not. <meta/>-data may or may not influence the document's behaviour, but 
usually it will not. And <meta/>-data may or may not influence the user 
agent's behaviour, in some cases it will, in other cases it won't.

For the argumentation of <title/> being meta data for the document, you could 
also argument headings being meta data for their sections, so drop the 
heading element and instead allow <meta/> in the content model of section, 
div, p etc.. That's too far a generalization.

The title is some kind of meta data, but the <title/> is intended to be 
rendered somewhere, it should be rendered, while <meta/> mustn't be rendered 
in the first place, it only may be rendered if the user agent knows what he's 
doing by rendering <meta/>.

Of course I am not a member of the HTML WG, nor of the W3C at all, so I don't 
know wether these distinctions are intentional, but I find them at least very 
explanatory and satisfying for the moment.

I hope I could also convince you, Toby, or at least make you think about my 
arguments for <title/> not becoming <meta name="title" />

> | Also how do you make mandatory the use of the attribute and value
> | 'name="DC.Title"' for the meta element in the DTD?
> I don't know much about DTDs, but presumably we can make it mandatory in
> the same way that we make 'xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"' mandatory
> for all XHTML1.1 documents.
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/conformance.html#strict
That's done by:
<!ATTLIST html
	xmlns CDATA 'http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml' #FIXED

As you see, it's not possible to enforce having at least one meta element with 
DTD's are not capable of that. And though XML Schema are much more complex and 
I might have missed some of it's capabilities I think that XML Schema is also 
not capable of that. I do not know wether the HTML working group already 
decided wether to drop DTD support or not, but if they decided to support 
DTD, the title element will stay for sure.

I agree with Frank, the title element must stay.

- -- 
Christian Wolfgang Hujer
Geschäftsführender Gesellschafter
Telefon: +49  (0)89  27 37 04 37
Telefax: +49  (0)89  27 37 04 39
E-Mail: Christian.Hujer@itcqis.com
WWW: http://www.itcqis.com/
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Received on Monday, 31 March 2003 14:38:40 UTC

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