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Re: HTML and XML

From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 17:32:04 -0800
Message-ID: <49922A94.1090803@metalab.unc.edu>
To: "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>
Cc: "Henry S. Thompson" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, David Orchard <orchard@pacificspirit.com>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, www-tag@w3.org

Michael(tm) Smith wrote:

> Regarding the world voting with its feet: As far as the Web goes
> at least, it would seem that it's instead really been a matter of
> the vast majority of content providers voting against XML/XHTML
> completely and voting for HTML instead (by choosing to serve
> non-WF HTML, and by choosing to serve XHTML as text/html so that
> it gets processed by HTML parsers in browsers instead of by XML
> parsers in browsers).

On this point, I have to call B.S. again. That a document is served as 
text/html does not make it HTML. Much less does it make it not XML. If a 
document satisfies the BNF grammar and the various well-formedness 
constraints, it is XML, whatever you call it. It may also be HTML, and 
perhaps other things as well.

The MIME type is not normative. That someone has labeled a document as 
one thing or another does not make it that thing.

If people are serving well-formed XML, it is likely they do so because 
they find it useful to do so, whatever MIME type happens to be assigned.

Elliotte Rusty Harold
Received on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 01:32:49 UTC

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