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Re: [CSS21] Make XHTML <body> magic just like HTML <body>

From: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2007 23:59:10 +0100
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>, "Simon Pieters" <zcorpan@gmail.com>
Cc: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.tov7gw0rsmjzpq@acer3010.parc.com>

On Wed, 07 Mar 2007 21:10:18 +0100, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:

>> I don't disagree. But why should <body> be non-magic in XHTML when it is
>> magic in HTML?
>
> The XHTML2 WG asked for it to be. It really is that simple.

Actually, it was exactly the other way round. The CSS WG asked the HTML WG  
for it to be non-magic, and even wrote the text for the spec. See  
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-css-wg/1999JulSep/0011.html  
(member-only link).

Hakon Lie also said at the time:

"This seems to go against an errata item we have added in CSS2:

   Section 3.2:

   HTML user agent:
     A user agent which supports the HTML 2.0, HTML 3.2, or HTML 4.0
     specificatons. Future versions of HTML may be written in XML, and
     a user agent supporting such a future version of HTML is -- for
     the purpose of this specification -- not considered to be an HTML
     user agent."
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-css-wg/1999JulSep/0020
(member-only link)

In fact the magic properties of <body> in CSS were added by the CSS WG  
because of a bug in IE3: it was unable to select on the <html> element,  
and Microsoft didn't want the spec to go out requiring the ability to  
select it.

The CSS WG at the time considered this a terrible kluge, and therefore  
didn't want it to be propagated for eternity. You ought always to be able  
to select all elements in a document, regardless of the sort of document  
it is.

Steven Pemberton
Received on Thursday, 8 March 2007 22:59:17 GMT

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