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Re: The failure of Appendix C as a transition technique (was: Re: Draft Minutes of 2013-02-14 TAG telcon)

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 02:37:48 +0100
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <hklqi8huslmfor2a9db5rjnlh97n3m04p3@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>
* Henri Sivonen wrote:
>On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 10:20 PM, Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com> wrote:
>> Masinter: thinking about polyglot as a general technique not
>>    just for languages, but for APIs and network protocols, as a
>>    transition technique from one version to another or one
>>    language to another, or one extension to another
>>    ... if you need to make changes, "polyglot" is a transition
>>    technique
>>    ... Appendix C in XHTML was a transition technique from HTML to
>>    XHTML
>It's worth noting that Appendix C failed as a transition technique.
>This isn't something caused by IE later on. Appendix C had failed by
>the fall of 2000.

Larry Masinter seems to look at this more in terms of deprecation cycles
than in terms of parsing `text/html` using XML rules. "Appendix C" tells
you that it used to be okay to write "<br>" but going forward "<br />"
should be used, and if you start doing that now, you will have fewer
problems in the future; meanwhile, though, both will work. It seems to
have done okay in that sense.

The failure would rather be that there was nothing to migrate to, there
was no application/xhtml+xml type when XHTML 1.0 became a Recommendation
and there were no rules for how application/xml should be handled when
the document looks like a XHTML 1.0 document, how to handle DTDs and the
entities and default namespace declarations defined in them, even basic
issues like how to use XML namespaces were open issues at the time.

The first Proposed Recommendation for XHTML 1.0 had to be sent back to
the HTML Working Group because it defined different names for the <img>
element depending on whether it appears in a "Strict", "Transitional",
or "Frameset" document (namespaces identified "profiles" and not some
kind of higher-level concept like "the XHTML language" as we might ex-
pect "today") as that was fairly incompatible with the assumptions other
technologies of the day, like XPath 1.0 and DOM Level 2, had made.
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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Received on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 01:38:18 UTC

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