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Re: Processing Instructions, not Magic Comments

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001 22:21:18 -0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
To: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
cc: <www-talk@w3.org>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.4.31.0107012207430.1728-100000@HIXIE.netscape.com>
On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, Arjun Ray wrote:
> On Sun, 1 Jul 2001, Ian Hickson wrote:
>> On Sun, 1 Jul 2001, Arjun Ray wrote:
>>> Other than giving the pope heartburn, what's wrong with a processing
>>> instruction?  (That's what they were invented for, after all.)
>> Pages that comply to the Appendix C guidelines can't contain them.
>> (They're not tag-soup-compatible, apparently.)
>
> Well, it's pretty clear that Appendix C is a crock.

That's as may be.


> Even so, C1 simply says "Be aware that processing instructions are
> rendered on some user agents".  This is an historical inadequacy of
> the kind that anyone stil using a browser of such vintage can't but be
> prepared for some things not to um, work.
>
> Besides, the xml declaration has the lexical form of a PI.  To take C1
> as you're suggesting would imply that this construct should *also* be
> avoided.  Wonderful!

Yes, it is argued that XML declarations should not appear in XHTML
documents intended for Tag Soup parsers.

I'm still looking for a good reason to write websites in XHTML _at the
moment_, given that the majority of web browsers don't grok XHTML. The
only reason I was given (by Dan Connolly [1]) is that it makes managing
the content using XML tools easier... but it would be just as easy to
convert the XML to tag soup or HTML before publishing it, so I'm not sure
I understand that. And even then, having the content as XML for content
management is one thing, but why does that require a minority of web
browsers to have to treat the document as XML instead of tag soup? What's
the advantage of doing that? And even _then_, if the person in control of
the content is using XML tools and so on, they are almost certainly in
control of the website as well, so why not do the content type munging on
the server side instead of campaigning for UA authors to spend their
already restricted resources on implementing content type sniffing?

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-talk/2001MayJun/0031.html

-- 
Ian Hickson                                            )\     _. - ._.)   fL
Invited Expert, CSS Working Group                     /. `- '  (  `--'
The views expressed in this message are strictly      `- , ) -  > ) \
personal and not those of Netscape or Mozilla. ________ (.' \) (.' -' ______
Received on Monday, 2 July 2001 01:21:32 GMT

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