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Re: Cleaning House

From: Dustin Boyd <rpgfan3233@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 21:26:57 -0600
Message-ID: <ef7a0f3a0811171926q55d5e4a0uf3eac1a5a344fd21@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>, "Tina Holmboe" <tina@greytower.net>, www-html@w3.org

OK, I'm not quoting anything in this discussion because frankly,
there isn't much worth quoting.  This discussion has turned into
nothing except angry remarks.

My thoughts - allowing for the omission of tags is useful to
authors at times, but it doesn't help implementers at all.  To be
honest, I include all of my tags when I write HTML, excluding end
tags of empty elements (what this editor's draft refers to as
`void' elements, getting away from its SGML roots).  I understand
that certain tags can be excluded, but I honestly can never
remember which ones can be excluded, nor the circumstances in
which it is still valid for them to be excluded.  That's why I
have a copy of the SGML DTD for HTML 4.01 Strict.

As it stands, my HTML 4.01 skeleton will always consist of the at
least something similar to the following:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC ....>
<html lang="en" dir="ltr">
  <head>
    <title>A title for the masses</title>
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type"
        content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
  </head>
  <body>
    <div id="PageContainer">
      Content
    </div>
  </body>
</html>

I could just as easily write the following (based upon the SGML
DTD for HTML 4.01 Strict):
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC ...>
<html lang="en" dir="ltr">
  <title>A title for the masses</title>
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type"
      content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
  <div id="PageContainer">
    Content
  </div>

Both are equally valid according to the DTD.  However, the latter
confuses people, especially when STYLE elements and SCRIPT
elements are added.  Novices wouldn't understand that STYLE
elements always belong in the HEAD.  In addition, there might be
a bit of trouble in determining how to build a DOM tree when a
SCRIPT element occurs between the META and DIV elements.  Does it
belong in the HEAD or the BODY?  It's ambiguous and error-prone.

One good point about HTML 5 is the fact that it is specifying
everything as a whole - behavior of both the HTML and XML
serializations and the way the DOM should be built.  However, I
refuse to say that the monolith (is that everybody's favorite
word here?) should remain a monolith because it would be a poor
idea.  I'd gladly work on HTML 5, but XHTML 2.0 still interests
me more.  It is a powerful language both in semantics and in
structure, and that attracts me to it more than HTML 5.  I really
don't see the point in the `canvas', `audio' and `video' elements
in HTML 5, honestly, but if I talked about that here, I'd be
getting off-topic.


--
Waiting patiently for Windows 7, XHTML 2.0, CSS 3.0, PHP 6.0, the
ratification of C++0x, and the day that I can code without logic
troubles.
Received on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 03:27:38 GMT

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