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Re: XHTML/XML some constructive comments required.

From: Matt May <mcmay@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2003 12:32:22 -0700
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: tina@greytower.net
Message-Id: <13235883-A8D6-11D7-A257-000393B628BC@w3.org>

On Friday, June 27, 2003, at 09:00  AM, tina@greytower.net wrote:
>   The link you are referring to outlines how to get IE 6 to use the CSS
>   box model instead of it's own hack, and nothing to do with making it
>   accept XHTML as XHTML and not tag-soup HTML.

The document says:
"This section describes how to use the !DOCTYPE declaration in your 
document to switch on standards-compliant mode with Internet Explorer 6 
or later."

Can you provide some evidence that deep down in all these rendering 
engines, XHTML is gumming up the works, and why it matters if the users 
have access to the entire DOM tree in standards mode?

Yes, the application/xhtml+xml problem exists, but in the long term it 
is soluble at the server, outside of the content itself. The question, 
as I would frame it, is whether content that authors expect to keep 
around for any period of time benefits long-term from being in XHTML. I 
think that's a reasonable call to make.

>> 11.1 reads "Use W3C technologies when they are available and
>> appropriate for a task and use the latest versions when supported." 
>> You
>> seem to be saying that XHTML is not widely supported, but then bring 
>> up
>> 11.1 as if it is.
>   Note the word "widely" in your own comment. XHTML 1.0 is "supported"
>   in that user-agents treat it as tag-soupy HTML. XHTML 1.1 is 
> supported
>   by Gecko-based UAs, Safari, and iCab (afaik).

The WCAG WG is refining its definition of "supported" in 11.1 by 
changing and defining "widely supported" in WCAG 2 Checkpoint 4.2. If I 
remember it right, the suggestion is that in WCAG 2, support means 
implementations in major UAs on major platforms, and 3 years since the 
format became a final standard. XHTML 1.1 came out in 2001.

A liberal interpretation of "supported" might lead one to believe that 
XHTML 2 is supported, since the XSmiles browser works on all major 
platforms. However, is that a reasonable call to make?

>   Is XHTML supported ? Yes. Is XHTML more accessible ? No. It 
> providesno
>   more and no less structure than properly written HTML, and fails
>   spectacularly in several popular UAs, including IE. (yes, I am 
> talking
>   about XHTML 1.1)

XHTML 1.1 is the latest recommended version of HTML, not just of XHTML. 
That is, HTML 4.01 is not the end of the line for the language, and 
thus the final version of HTML. If you're using this as your argument, 
then HTML 4.01 shouldn't be usable, either, as it's been superseded. 
The W3C HTML home page[1] states that "XHTML is the successor of HTML," 
and repeatedly cites XHTML 1.0 as the next version in the HTML family 
("...following on from earlier work on HTML 4.01...", "XHTML is the 
first major change to HTML...")

[1] http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/

Received on Friday, 27 June 2003 15:33:24 UTC

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