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Re: Publication of specifications as HTML5

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 02:35:27 +0200
To: liam@w3.org
Cc: Karl Dubost <karl+w3c@la-grange.net>, Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, Spec Prod <spec-prod@w3.org>, Aryeh Gregor <ayg@aryeh.name>, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, Philippe Le H├ęgaret <plh@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20110826023527672631.25920f2b@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Liam R E Quin, Thu, 25 Aug 2011 13:48:31 -0400:

> I see no objection if HTML 4 was published using HTML 4, nor if HTML 5
> is published using HTML 5, as I have said.
> On the other hand... what if we want to publish the XSL-FO 2.0 draft as
> an XSL-FO 2.0 document, not in HTML? Web browsers won't easily be able
> to display it, but it would encourage adoption and we should eat our own
> dog food, right?  No, because the goal is to have specs that the
> implementors can read and understand.  So, HTML is (rightly) treated as
> a special case at the World Wide Web Consortium, and the drafts are
> written so that existing browsers can understand them. Plus it's the
> browser-makers working on the spec, a luxury we don't have in (say) the
> XML world, where there might easily be over 100,000 XML-system
> implementations in the world.
> None the less, we should be careful about what precedents we set.

XSL-FO 2.0 document is probably not a good idea in a spec. That said, 
the 'special case' HTML has at least 3 definitions: 1. 'text/html' 
specs, 2. the HTML vocabulary - regardless of MIME type, 3. anything 
that is 'text/html'-compatible. It is the latter definition which - 
despite bickering about what is compatible, seems to be the pub rule.

Today, it would probably be possible to publish a spec as 
'application/xhtml+xml': With some care, this would be compatible with 
almost every browser in use. So for example XHTML+RDFa1.1 is currently 
allowed in specs. But should it be allowed to publish XHTML+RDFa1.1 as 
'text/html'? That is not a given.

As a matter of fact, not every draft is authored to so that existing 
browsers can understand them (perfectly): Some specs, including XML 
1.0, includes constructs such as <a name='foo' />, with funny effects 
as result. And the XHTML+RDFa1.1. spec includes '<?xml version='1.0' 
encoding='UTF-8'?>' for some reason as well as namespaces that have no 
effect - at least not in browsers. When one only seeks to adhere to 
rules, then one may end up with a non-real-world result ... 

Anyway: It belongs to the dogfood philosophy that XHTML documents - 
which *SHOULD* be published as 'application/xhtml+xml' according to 
Appendix C et al - to actually publish them as 'application/xhtml+xml', 
Leif H Silli
Received on Friday, 26 August 2011 00:36:01 UTC

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