W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January 2010

Re: Understanding the "applicable specifications" clause (was: Re: Decentralised extensibility idea (ISSUE-41))

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 10:00:32 -0600
Message-ID: <dd0fbad1001210800w3c006db8q9ab59681bf784c63@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Dr. Olaf Hoffmann" <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
2010/1/21 Dr. Olaf Hoffmann <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>:
> Anyway once an author managed to produce some proper XHTML
> document it does not mutate suddenly with a legerdemain into
> HTML. Just in some cases it is only served as text/html with the known result,
> that it cannot (and due to the priority of the server hint should not)
> be interpreted as XHTML. If (X)HTML is served as text/plain, surely
> it should not be interpreted as (X)HTML either, just because the intention
> of the author is obviously, that the audience gets the source code
> presented and  not interpreted, for example pretty useful for tutorials
> (I use this method myself quite often).

It doesn't mutate, because it isn't, by itself, an XHTML file.  It's a
bag of bits.  It can be interpreted as XHTML, or HTML, or plaintext,
or a bitmap for that matter.  Files don't carry around an essential
identity, they obtain one when you choose to interpret them in a
particular way.

That's why there was never any such thing as "XHTML served as
text/html".  It was always HTML, albeit with some slightly invalid
syntax inspired by the XHTML syntax which browsers tolerated/ignored.
If they served it as application/xhtml+xml, then it would have been

Unfortunately, I think we've gone far down the rabbit hole of an
irrelevant sidetrack, so it's probably good to stop now.

Received on Thursday, 21 January 2010 16:01:20 UTC

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