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remarks to “Serving XHTML 1.0”

From: Gunnar Bittersmann <gunnar@bittersmann.de>
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2008 00:56:51 +0200
Message-ID: <48FA69B3.7070005@bittersmann.de>
To: www-international@w3.org

Hello everybody,
I have some remarks regarding the article “Serving XHTML 1.0”
[http://www.w3.org/International/articles/serving-xhtml/] for the round
to discuss.


(1) “To ensure that the slight differences between XML and HTML do not
trip up older user agents, you should always follow the compatibility
guidelines in Appendix C of the XHTML specification when serving XHTML
as HTML. These compatibility guidelines recommend, amongst other things,
that you leave a space before the '/>' at the end of an empty tag (such
as img, hr or br), that you always use both id and name attributes for
fragment identifiers, etc.”

Not the _tags_ are empty; but the _elements_ (cf. note in
[http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/intro/sgmltut.html#h-3.2.1]) This passage
might better read “at the end of a tag of an empty element (such as img,
hr or br)”.

The distinction between tags and elements is IMHO not less important
than the distinction between character sets and encodings; using the
wrong term might lead to confusion and misunderstandings.

But IMHO none of these two examples are still relevant these days:
today’s browsers have no trouble with '<br/>' etc. without a space
before '/>', and since any element with an 'id' attribute can be used as
a fragment identifier, there is no need for a construct à la <a id="foo
name="bar">.

Of course, other parts of appendix C are still relevant. One or two
better examples could be found. Or the paragraph just says “To ensure
that the slight differences between XML and HTML do not trip up older
user agents, you should always follow the compatibility guidelines in
Appendix C of the XHTML specification when serving XHTML as HTML.”
without any example.


(2) “XHTML 1.0 can also be served as XML, and XHTML 1.1 is always served
as XML.”

AFAIS the latter has never been the case. XHTML Media Types (2002-08-01)
says that XHTML 1.1 SHOULD be served as application/xhtml+xml, not MUST.
[http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-media-types/#summary] Unless I have missed
it, the 1st edition of the XHTML 1.1 specification (REC, 2001-05-31)
itself didn’t say nothing about the media type of XHTML 1.1 resources.

As Richard has recently pointed out, the 2nd edition (WD, 2007-02-16)
now says in section 2.1.1 that “XHTML 1.1 documents SHOULD be labeled
with the Internet Media Type text/html […] or application/xhtml+xml […]”
[http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/conformance.html#strict]

The article might be better off without the passage about XHTML 1.1:
“XHTML 1.0 can also be served as XML. To serve XHTML as XML […]”.

Would it make sense to let the article be about XHTML 1.1 as well? That
would mean to replace all appeareances of 'XHTML 1.0' with 'XHTML 1' (or
'XHTML 1.x'). I’d say no because it’s not best practice to serve XHTML
1.1 as 'text/html'.


(3) “CSS is used to set the font size quite large for the body tag […]”

body _element_.

Further up 'img', 'hr' and 'br' are labeled as <span class="kw"> (<code
class="kw"> might also be appropriate), 'body' and 'p' in this paragraph
are not.


(4) When it comes to doctype sniffing, I miss the fact that browsers
also do quirks when the HTML 4.01 Transitional (or Frameset) doctype is
given without the system identifier (URI), cf. table in
[http://jendryschik.de/wsdev/einfuehrung/css/browserkompatibilitaet]

My .02 €,
Gunnar
Received on Saturday, 18 October 2008 22:55:08 GMT

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