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[whatwg] HTML5 doctypes incompatible with XHR if named entities present

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 00:33:17 -0500
Message-ID: <4AFB9E1D.8040101@mit.edu>
On 11/11/09 11:57 PM, Aryeh Gregor wrote:
> A number of popular web apps output mostly well-formed XML, as far as
> I know: vBulletin, WordPress, etc.

I assume you meant "mostly" as in "most of the pages are well-formed", 
not "pages are mostly well-formed", since the latter is useless, right?

I did a brief survey of obvious sites fitting those descriptions that I 
had in my browser history at the moment.  These were not-well-formed:

http://www.dria.org/wordpress/archives/2009/11/10/1043/
http://bisdaktech.wordpress.com/
http://weekinthenee.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/sitting-in-a-park-in-paris-france/
http://terrytao.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/displaying-mathematics-on-the-web/
http://ehren.wordpress.com/2009/10/24/a-gcc-hack-my-0-1-release/
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=104201
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=132449

These are:

http://boomswaggerboom.wordpress.com/
http://fiber-space.de/wordpress/?p=1016
http://dafizilla.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/karmic-koala-hides-firefox-context-menuitems-icons/

So either you're looking at a totally different dataset or "mostly" is a 
bit of a stretch....

> Not even close to most websites, of course, but a significant number, I'd think.

Sure.  0.01% of all websites is a "significant number".  I just think 
it's broken often enough, and easy enough to break by accident, that 
relying on it working for screen scraping is not likely to be happening 
on a wide scale....

>> Yes, but browsers would have to add explicit support for it.
>
> That mostly defeats the point -- they could equally add explicit
> support for non-XML responseXML first.

Yep.

> This makes it sound like if Wikipedia switches to HTML5 and isn't
> willing to break all screen-scrapers on principle, we'll have to use
> an obsolete but conforming doctype.

Or stop using HTML named entities, yes.

-Boris
Received on Wednesday, 11 November 2009 21:33:17 UTC

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