W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > December 2002

Re: flakey charset detection

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 22:20:40 +0000 (GMT)
To: David Brownell <david-b@pacbell.net>
Cc: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>, Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>, "www-validator@w3.org" <www-validator@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0212042155040.7980-100000@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Wed, 4 Dec 2002, David Brownell wrote:
>
> I think META charset info in XHTML could rarely be anything except
> trouble.

Indeed, but per the spec, it's valid and in XHTML UAs expected to take
effect (XHTML 1.1 normatively references HTML 4.01 for its semantics).

See also:
   http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1037398795&count=1


>> By serving it as text/html, you're telling us HTML rules apply, including
>> the charset you sent with it.  More specifically, Appendix-wossname rules
>> for XHTML, which (as Hixie has demonstrated) leads to unavoidable
>> contradictions.
> 
> I googled to http://www.hixie.ch/advocacy/xhtml ... is that what you mean?

This is probably the document he is referring to, although I am known to
complain about XHTML-as-text/html quite a lot, e.g.:

   http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1031465247&count=1
   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-talk/2001MayJun/author.html#179


> It's undated...

I added a creation date (in the new "context" section). The document _is_
sent with an accurate Last-Modified header though, so it is dated.


> he's taken an extreme position that assumes the document publishers
> are doing stupid things

That's not an extreme position, it's a realistic position. Take any random
sample of XHTML pages on the web and you will quickly see quite how many
pages labelled as XHTML are invalid, comment out script and style blocks, 


> (stupidity is optional, "should not"),

Stupidity is a fact of life.


> and I noticed errors in his text.

I would be very curious to hear what you believe are errors in this
document.


> I think he's biased,

We're all biased, but I believe I was objective when writing this 
document. Again, I would love to see what I was biased about.


> as shown by some of the internal inconsistencies in his argument. 

...and I would love to know what is inconsistent about my argument.


> Many people have found that if there are problems, they're often easy
> to resolve.

Few people, very, VERY few people, have ever done the transition from
XHTML-as-text/html to XHTML-as-application/xhtml+xml. The only cases I
know of are www.xiven.com and www.diveintomark.org; they both hit a number
of problems despite both being experienced Web developers.


> More have found that using anything _except_ text/html is completely
> unworkable.

There is another option, one which seems to be often overlooked.

Use HTML 4.01.

-- 
Ian Hickson                                      )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
"meow"                                          /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
http://index.hixie.ch/                         `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Wednesday, 4 December 2002 17:20:43 GMT

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