W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 2009

Re: HTML 5 and XHTML 2 combined

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Fri, 09 Jan 2009 16:51:29 +0000
Message-ID: <49678091.1010505@googlemail.com>
To: "Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
CC: Dustin Boyd <rpgfan3233@gmail.com>, www-html@w3.org, Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@webbackplane.com>, Brett Patterson <inspiron.pattersonb@gmail.com>, David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>, Molte <molte93@gmail.com>, Shavkat Karimov <shavkat@seomanager.com>

On 9/1/09 13:31, Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) wrote:
>> Since popular browsers seem more interested in implementing HTML5 than
>> XHTML2,
>
> which is a great shame, because the XML semantics appear (to the
> current author) to be both far more intuitive and far more useful
> than those of HTML5.
>
>> this seems like a guarantee that they won't implement XHTML2, at least
>> not as a whole, unless the specs converge on such points.
>
> Then let us hope that the benefits of the XML semantics are (or
> become) obvious to all.

Is there a major semantic advantage to "href" anywhere?

Some browser vendors think it would be complex to overload elements with 
additional functionality:

http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2006-August/007179.html

Providing UI for XHTML2's omnipresent "href" attribute is non-trivial.

What would be a good interface for nested links?

<span href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML"><span 
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypertext">HyperText</a> Markup 
Language</span>

Or elements that are both hyperlinked and have some other functionality?

<submit submission="submit" 
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML"><label>Go!</label></input>

W3C's own Amaya attempts a nested link mechanism (for "cite" attributes 
on elements nested inside hyperlinks), but it's confusing since there's 
no visual distinction between the two.

The suggested default CSS for XHTML2 -

http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/2007/ED-xhtml2-20071024/xhtml2-style.html#a_stylesheet 


- appears to replicate this usability problem for nested :link matches.

This question has been raised before:

"My concern is how nested links would be presented to users of non 
visual browsers? I am reminded of the concerns raised in the WCAG 1.0 (
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/wai-pageauth.html#tech-divide-links ) where 
we it is written "render adjacent links distinctly, include non-link, 
printable characters (surrounded by spaces) between adjacent links."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2003Jun/0119.html

With respect to "img" alternative text, HTML5 has to define how to 
serialize an HTML5 DOM parsed out of XML to text/html.

If HTML5 allowed content of the img element to be used as alternative 
text in the XML serialization, how would you suggest the following DOM 
be serialized in text/html?

<img src="/images/cat/">A black <a 
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball">cat</a> displays a certain 
<span lang="fr">je ne sais quoi</span> while playing with a <a 
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball">ball</a> of string</img>

One answer might be to serialize it to:

<object data="/images/cat/">A black <a 
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball">cat</a> displays a certain 
<span lang="fr">je ne sais quoi</span> while playing with a <a 
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball">ball</a> of string</object>

But that wouldn't actually _work_ in the most popular HTML client.

Another answer might be to serialize it to:

<img src="/images/cat/" alt="A black cat displays a certain je ne sais 
quoi while playing with a ball">

but that involves potentially substantial data loss.

A third answer would be to serialize it to:

<div>A black <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball">cat</a> 
displays a certain <span lang="fr">je ne sais quoi</span> while playing 
with a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball">ball</a> of string</div>

But then people don't see an image.

A fourth answer might be to serialize it to:

<div><img src="/images/cat/" alt="">A black <a 
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball">cat</a> displays a certain 
<span lang="fr">je ne sais quoi</span> while playing with a <a 
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball">ball</a> of string</div>

But then people who can see the image also see the alternate content at 
the same time.

I can't say as I think any of those are better options than advising 
authors to use "object" for complex alternatives.

--
Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Friday, 9 January 2009 16:52:22 GMT

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