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

Re: XHTML character entity support

From: Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 02 Nov 2009 12:00:47 +0000
To: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Adam Barth <w3c@adambarth.com>, Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>, Alexey Proskuryakov <ap@webkit.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1257163247.25705.148.camel@ophelia2.g5n.co.uk>
On Sun, 2009-11-01 at 18:33 -0500, Aryeh Gregor wrote:
> 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.

It seems to me that large scale development, particularly of modular
software, benefits from using XHTML over HTML.

Firstly, many projects will want to enforce a "house style" on generated
output. Rules like "always quote attribute values", "always use lower
case tag names and attributes", "always close non-empty elements, even
if they have optional end tags" can be enforced more easily by choosing
an XHTML validation target, than by validating against HTML 4 and then
adding extra restrictions.

Secondly, modules can be written more cleanly if it can be checked that
they explicitly close each tag that they open. If a module leaves a <p>
tag open at the end of its output, then a second module that only
outputs inline text will find itself as run-on content in the same
paragraph.

Lastly, using XHTML is useful if one module needs to modify the output
of another module. It means that the modifying module can use
off-the-shelf XML manipulation tools (XSLT, XML parsers, etc). While the
HTML5 effort has done great work in standardising HTML parsing, the HTML
manipulation tools available are not as widespread, mature or consistent
yet.

-- 
Toby A Inkster
<mailto:mail@tobyinkster.co.uk>
<http://tobyinkster.co.uk>
Received on Monday, 2 November 2009 12:01:33 UTC

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