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Re: Some thoughts on an extensible hypertext markup language

From: Toby A Inkster <tobyink@goddamn.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 19:36:24 +0100
To: "Philip TAYLOR [PC87S/O-XP]" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20030512183623.GA22524@ophelia.goddamn.co.uk>
On Mon, May 12, 2003 at 06:44:40PM +0100, Philip TAYLOR [PC87S/O-XP] wrote:
| A couple of months ago, I lay in bed and thought
| about how such a minimal language might look, and sent the
| essence of those thought processes to Chris Rowley, a friend and 
| colleague at the Open University.  In brief, I came to the 
| conclusion that a minimal extensible hypertext markup language 
| ("MXHTML") might need as few as four containers, although 
| Chris suggested that a few more would be necessary.  If anyone is
| interested in reading my original message, and possibly
| even commenting on it, I have archived it at 
| 
| 	Http://Www.Rhul.Ac.Uk/Staff/Chaa006/XTML/

Interestingly, I also looked at a minimal XHTML a couple of months ago, 
although my approach is somewhat different. My proposition is:

1. Create a "Maximal XHTML" markup language, which should be well-formed 
XML. Regular XHTML should be a subset opf Maximal XHTML. Such a markup 
language would also include additional semantic elements that were 
rejected from XHTML as being too specific and possibly one or two 
presentational elements. It could possibly allow SVG, MathML, etc to 
come into play as well.

2. Create a "Minimal XHTML" language, a proper subset of XHTML, so that 
any valid Minimal XHTML document is a valid XHTML document. Minimal 
XHTML would consist entirely of the following elements and listed 
attributes. No other attributes or elements would be permissable. Some 
attributes are limited in the values they can take, as per below.

<html>
  dir

<head>

<title>

<link>
  rel=next,prev,parent,start,end,contents,index,appendix,alternate
  href

<meta>
  name
  scheme

<body>

<section>
  id
  class=introduction,conclusion,chapter,subchapter,example

<h>

<p>
  id

<quote>
  cite

<em>

<code>

<address>

<abbr>
        
<l>
        
<a>
  href
  type

<ol>,<ul>
  id

<li>
  id
  href

<table>
  summary

<thead>

<tr>

<th>
   colspan,rowspan
   for
   abbr

<tbody>

<td>
  colspan,rowspan

<tfoot>

<tr>

<td>
  colspan,rowspan

xml:lang and title can be used for any element where it is allowed in 
XHTML.

Note that minimal XHTML contains no presentational elements, including 
no opportunity to specify a style sheet (adding one in by PIs would be 
not allowed). Presentation is entirely down to the user.

It contains a rich linking structure through <link> -- the encouraged 
machanism for navigational linking -- and <a>.

Note also that there is no method of embedding images. If an image must 
be referenced, you must just link to it, using <a> or <link>.

Min-XHTML would be easy to implement by user agents as there is no 
styling, no scripting, no embedding and very few elements. It would be 
accessible because there is very little you can do to make a min-XHTML 
document inaccessible!

-- 
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS | mailto:tobyink@goddamn.co.uk | pgp:0x6A2A7D39
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            http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/ | "You've got spam!"
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Received on Monday, 12 May 2003 14:36:36 GMT

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