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Re: HTML and XML

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 18:56:30 +0000 (UTC)
To: Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Cc: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, "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
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0902131850060.952@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Fri, 13 Feb 2009, Elliotte Harold wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > On Wed, 11 Feb 2009, Elliotte Harold wrote:
> > > I'm not so sure. I'm not aware of any current specs that attempt to
> > > prescribe the handling of a byte stream received over HTTP
> > 
> > Off the top of my head: CSS, PNG, text/plain, XML.
> > 
> > Unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean, all of those basically have 
> > the same kinds of requirements as HTML5, specifically how to determine 
> > the encoding, how to obtain meaning from bytes using that encoding, 
> > etc.
> 
> "Handling" I suppose is a vague term, but XML and text/plain describe 
> neither rendering, semantics, nor behavior. They say absolutely nothing 
> about what a processor should or must do with any given byte stream or 
> what meaning it infers to those bytes. They describe syntax, nothing 
> more.
> 
> CSS and PNG describe rendering--that's their whole purpose--but not 
> behavior.
> 
> HTML 5 attempts to prescribe almost everything. It is far more demanding 
> and less flexible than previous specs.

With all due respect, I believe you have misread the specification. While 
it certainly does include a lot of detail, as far as I am aware it, like 
other specs, allows for flexible reuse in almost any manner desired. The 
requirements are (almost?) all of the nature "if you want to use HTML in 
this manner, then to get interoperability with other tools doing the same 
thing you should do it according to these rules".

This is just like, for instance, the text/plain specification (actually 
MIME part 2) saying that a CR LF sequence in a text/plain specification 
MUST be interpreted as a line break.

If there are any specific rules you think are overdemanding or 
underflexible, please do let us know.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 13 February 2009 18:57:09 GMT

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