W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > November 2009

Re: XHTML character entity support

From: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 18:33:38 -0500
Message-ID: <7c2a12e20911011533j52a2389cu190962c4d43c69ae@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: Adam Barth <w3c@adambarth.com>, Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>, Alexey Proskuryakov <ap@webkit.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 6:22 PM, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
> [Personal opinion]
>
> Given that the HTML5 spec requires every browser to implement features like
> <font> tags consistently, my personal belief is marking such as
> non-conforming mean that validation will only be of an academic interest.
>  And given that the validation rules in place are not being driven by those
> with an academic bent, I don't understand the target market for such
> requirements.
>
> [/Personal opinion]

Slightly off-topic for this thread, but: a remarkable number of web
developers want their markup to validate.  There is absolutely no
technically sound reason for anyone to have switched from HTML4 to
XHTML1 Transitional served as text/html -- they're functionally
identical.  But most major web apps do use some form of XHTML1.
(E.g.: Wordpress, MediaWiki, phpBB, Joomla, Drupal . . . Bugzilla is
the only one I could quickly come up with that still uses an HTML4
doctype.)  Because it's the perception that it's a more recent and
better standard, and everyone should keep up with new standards.

There's no reason to go out of your way to put alt="" on every image
(which is, in fact, probably non-conforming).  But many web pages do,
just so they can claim they're valid.  There's no reason to include
magical xmlns declarations that all browsers ignore.  But lots of
pages have them anyway.  There's social pressure, perhaps especially
in open-source circles, to be standards-compliant, and that means (at
a minimum) doing whatever it takes to shut up the validator.  That's
not even mentioning some sites (typically government) that have a
standards-compliance requirement.

So what's theoretically valid actually does make a difference in the
real world.  Of course, if the validator says <font> is no good but
says nothing about style="", you'll have all <font color=blue> turned
into <span style="color:blue">.  But experience with other standards
makes me predict that a significant number of authors *will* go the
trouble of doing that, just so they're officially valid.  So making
undesired markup nonconforming is very likely worthwhile, even if
there's no difference in how user-agents treat it.
Received on Sunday, 1 November 2009 23:34:17 UTC

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