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Re: [CSS21] Comments on the 2003-09-15 CSS 2.1 Draft

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 22:32:08 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200310202132.h9KLW8101307@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-style@w3.org

> I was referring to XML DTDs. Not reading them does not affect the 
> majority of the current Web pages, because the majority is using 
> text/html.

XHTML is XML (although it may currently be used for fashion reasons,
when HTML would give better interoperability, and it probably isn't
validated) and that does define names for many characters.

Unless the world goes to semantics free, invent your own elements,
XML, HTML and maybe XHTML, will be the main users of CSS for a long
time to come.  Both semantics free XML and presentational HTML are
bad things, in my view.

> The copyright symbol (or any Unicode character for that matter) can be 
> represented without entities.

There seems strong reluctance, amongsth authors, to use the numeric
values, and the name is defined for XHTML.  HTML owes its success to hand
codability[1], and whilst XHTML 2.0 might not have named entities, it is
actually moving back in the direction of hand codability.  Hand coders
find &copy; much easier to remember than &#251;.

> 
> Real-world text/html browsers 

Which is what most people understand by the term web browser.

>                               are tag soup processors, so the issues 

It is not really possible to implement CSS with a true tag soup browser,
as CSS requires a well defined parse tree.  (On that basis, I believe
that NS4 is a tag soup browser with CSS bolted on and IE is a structured
document browser with extensive error recovery logic to make it handle
pages authored for tag soup browsers without complaint.  This is based
on the way they handle CSS (and other things like the way they handle
validly and invalidly omitted tags).)  Both encourage tag soup coding
styles, and I think it may prove commercially very difficult for
mainstream XML browsers to reject not-well-formed code as well.

[1] In my view, HTML, as used in the commercial market, is in a similar
category to PDF and I think the failure of that in the web market was
partly due to the required authoring tools being outside the reach of
the students who pioneered the web.
Received on Tuesday, 21 October 2003 02:01:31 GMT

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