FW: Agenda: HTML media type

Although this email requests action by the XML CG, 
if any XML Core members have useful input, I'm sure
that would be welcome.


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-xml-cg-request@w3.org On Behalf Of Chris Lilley
Sent: Friday, 2007 February 16 07:47
Cc: Hypertext CG
Subject: Agenda: HTML media type

Hello XML CG

I have an action item from the Hypertext CG to alert you to a change
in the use of the HTML media type, where this CG might have an

Currently the media types are:

HTML 2, 3.2, 4.x

 may be sent as text/html or as application/xhtml+xml

XHTML 1.1, XHTML 2.0
 application/xhtml+xml (must NOT be sent as text/html)

An issue is that applications that don't accept XHTML will not do
anything sensible with such data (notably MS IE, including IE7, which
will offer to save to disk).

Other browsers (Opera, Firefox, Safari, Konqueror, plus mobile
browsers such as ACCESS NetFront, Webkit S60, Obigo, Opera) accept

The "won't work in IE" problem has resulted in a lack of use of XHTML,
particularly XHTML 1.1. Unless authors have control over their servers
and are savvy enough to send as application/xhtml+xml to most browsers
and text/html (possibly with Ruby removal) to IE.

It also means some conversion of XHTML 1.1 to 1.0 (this happens on the
W3C site, because pubrules requires a text/html version of all TRs as
the normative version).

The HTML WG proposes to change things by allowing XHTML 1.1 to be
served as text/html.

This might have a benefit (IE will at least treat it as tagsoup,
perhaps as 'standards' rather than 'quirks' tagsoup)

It might have drawbacks:

* previously, one could guarantee that XHTML
would be processed as XML, have an XML DOM, reliable and
browser-independent parsing, etc.

* people might start serving content which was XHTML as text/html,
thus (as the document changes over time) no longer being informed by
browsers of such minor flaws as WF errors.

* tools that extract and process content (aggregators, etc) may not
process such content as it is not labelled as being XML.

Please add this to the agenda of the next XML CG call. Your comments
would be appreciated.

 Chris Lilley                    mailto:chris@w3.org
 Interaction Domain Leader
 Co-Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 W3C Graphics Activity Lead
 Co-Chair, W3C Hypertext CG

Received on Friday, 16 February 2007 14:52:38 UTC