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XML/XHTML User Agent Problems

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Thu, 08 Feb 2001 10:05:35 -0500
Message-Id: <200102081501.KAA12987@hesketh.net>
To: www-talk@w3.org
While Common User Agent Problems
(http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/NOTE-cuap-20010206) does an excellent job of
identifying and describing some kinds of problems - I especially liked the
HTTP and URI content - it doesn't feel like it was written with XML and/or
XHTML in mind.

I noted on xmlhack (http://xmlhack.com/read.php?item=1061) that issues
involving namespace processing in Web browsers are left unaddressed.  There
are some substantial problems in that space, notably Microsoft's current
use of the html: prefix (never mind the URI) to indicate HTML content in an
XML document.

For a quick summary, see:
http://simonstl.com/articles/xbrowse/xbrowse7.html

For more details on issues related to XML-in-browsers, see:
http://www.xml.com/pub/2000/03/29/tutorial/index.html
http://www.xml.com/pub/2000/04/19/opera/index.html
http://www.xml.com/pub/2000/05/03/msie/index.html
http://www.xml.com/pub/2000/05/03/browserchart/index.html
http://simonstl.com/articles/xbrowse/index.html

The document also ignores issues related to multiple flavors of HTML -
Strict, Transitional, Frameset, HTML 4, XHTML 1, etc. - and the ways in
which some browsers (IE 5/Mac, and I think Mozilla) use the DOCTYPE
declaration to choose a processing mode:
http://xmlhack.com/read.php?item=428

Finally, I'd argue that many of the cases mentioned in Appendix C of XHTML
1.0 could plausibly be described as 'Common User Agent Problems':
http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/#guidelines

Good luck encouraging good behavior in your members.

Simon St.Laurent - Associate Editor, O'Reilly and Associates
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
XHTML: Migrating Toward XML
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books
Received on Thursday, 8 February 2001 10:01:06 GMT

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