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Re: text/html for xml extensions of XHTML

From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 21:55:21 -0400 (EDT)
To: www-talk@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0106232119080.20140-100000@info.q2.net>
On Sat, 16 Jun 2001, William F. Hammond wrote:

> The issue here is that text/html and text/xml overlap.

Actually, it looks like how to make them overlap.  Now that Keeping
The Web Safe For Netploder is an established principle, it has become
necessary to make XML safe for Netploder too.

> The definition of text/html is given in RFC 2854 

Not really.  The "definition" consists of an understatement:

:  Due to the long and distributed development of HTML, current
:  practice on the Internet includes a wide variety of HTML variants.
:  Implementors of text/html interpreters must be prepared to be
:  "bug-compatible" with popular browsers in order to work with many
:  HTML documents available the Internet.

On which side of, say 99%, would "many" fall?  "Bug-compatible" might
have been a forgivable turn of phrase five to six years ago.  Today it
is humbug.

A document which says "you will have to reverse engineer popular
browsers" is not a definition.

Note that RFC 2854 exists because the IETF wanted to wash its hands
off text/html - the IETF has no interest in having its name attached
to a spec the non-compliance with which is somewhere between massive
and total.  

A paper tiger is not a definition.  

When the I-Ds leading to RFC 2854 were announced on www-html, I raised
the issue of an honest spec for text/html.  

  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/1999Oct/0033.html

There was no debate.  Even ostriches do better.

> and text/xml in RFC 3023.  Any UTF-8 encoded XHTML document may be
> served as text/xml under the text/xml spec.

Horrifying thought...

> The text/html spec defers to the W3C specification for XHTML on the
> matter of when XHTML is permitted under text/html.

Permitted?  I'd say the better part of wisdom is to see to it that
XHTML never escapes text/html.


Arjun
Received on Saturday, 23 June 2001 21:41:20 GMT

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