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Re: sugggestion: HTML 4.01 as default

From: Gerald Oskoboiny <gerald@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 19:50:28 -0400
To: Bertilo Wennergren <bertilow@hem.passagen.se>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org, Christian Smith <csmith@barebones.com>
Message-ID: <20001021195028.Y20630@w3.org>
On Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 02:54:50PM +0200, Bertilo Wennergren wrote:
> Christian Smith:
> 
> > > Good. Now, approximately when will it be a good idea to make this default 
> > > to XHTML 1.0, the current HTML recommendation?
> 
> > Why is this even an issue? Both HTML 4.0.x and XHTML 1.0 REQUIRE the
> > presence of a DOCTYPE. If the DOCTYPE is missing the file is not valid.
> > Simple as that, no? 
> 
> Not quite. Even when the validator has noted this error, the lack of 
> a DOCTYPE, it is still useful to parse the rest of the doc, noting
> other errors, and in doing that it must suppose an _intended_ DOCTYPE.
> 
> It is more useful to be told that the doc is valid XHTML 1.0 apart
> from the lack of a DOCTYPE declaration, than to just be told that
> it is not valid without further details.
> 
> The validator is supposed to be a useful tool, no?

Yup. It used to assume HTML 2.0 if there was no doctype (since 2.0
was the only version of HTML in which the presence of a doctype
was a "should", not a "must"), but that just wasn't very useful
at all for >99% of the users of the service.

> Now, should it suppose the most commonly used HTML DOCTYPE or should
> it suppose the current recommendation, or something else? I believe 
> HTML 4.01 is not the most commonly used one. That would probably 
> be 3.2. It is not the current recommendation. So it must be "something
> else" then.

I disagree, I'm pretty sure that most current documents on the
web today are closer to HTML 4.01 than they are to HTML 3.2.

One of the items on the todo list [1] is:

    26. add a "recommend a DTD for me" feature (check a document
    against all available DTDs, report which one has the fewest
    errors)

But I doubt that will ever become important enough relative to
other things to be implemented.

[1] http://validator.w3.org/todo.html

-- 
Gerald Oskoboiny       <gerald@w3.org>  +1 613 261 6630
System Administrator   http://www.w3.org/People/Gerald/
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)      http://www.w3.org/
Received on Saturday, 21 October 2000 19:51:09 GMT

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