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Re: [CSS21] Grammar precludes future XML syntax for CSS

From: Malcolm Rowe <malcolm-www-style@farside.org.uk>
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 18:21:39 +0100
To: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Cc: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>, www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <20050917172139.GA1214@lorenz.farside.org.uk>

On Fri, Sep 16, 2005 at 10:04:10PM +0200, Chris Lilley wrote:
> MR> in the same way that XHTML1 - a reformulation of HTML4's semantics in
> MR> XML - is not HTML.
> 
> Both a good and a bad example. Its certainly not HTML 4, but HTML4 and
> HTML 3.2 and HTML 2 and XHTML 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 are all "HTML".

Good point. The language names are distinct ("HTML" and "XHTML") but the
family name ("HTML") is only distinguishable from the language name in
context.

But going back to HTML: I think it would have been a mistake for the
HTML4 specification to make a distinction between the HTML semantics
and the HTML implementation in SGML. Such a distinction would only have
served to confuse contemporary readers.

Maybe if we were updating both the HTML and XHTML specs today, we could
abstract the semantics out to a 'semantics' document, and leave the various
implementations (SGML and XML) to disjoint 'implementation' documents.

So, in the case of CSS, I'd argue something similar: as no-one is seriously
proposing a formulation of the CSS semantics in another (non-CSS) syntax,
I think it would be a mistake to attempt to differentiate at this stage.

A hypothetical future XCSS specification could identify the CSS semantic
elements and describe their mapping to XML -- just like the XHTML
specification does for HTML.

> pars pro toto has issues, in sum. It would be good to deal with that
> ambiguity in CSS 2.1.

That ambiguity doesn't seem to have harmed HTML any.

Regards,
Malcolm
Received on Saturday, 17 September 2005 17:21:48 GMT

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