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XHTML 2.0 considered harmless (was: Re: XHTML 2.0 considered harmful)

From: John Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 18:40:15 -0600
Message-ID: <94375132712.20030115184015@cda.mrs.umn.edu>
To: www-html@w3.org

Tantek wrote on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 at 10:33:49 AM:

>> And what comes to teaching a document markup language to new
>> people, XHTML2 looks like much simpler as a whole than XHTML1.x.

> Then don't call it XHTML2. Call it something else, like "SHML"
> (Simplified Hypertext Markkup Language).

XHTML 2.0 is the next version of XHTML. If you don't like it, changing
the name doesn't solve anything. Keep using XHTML 1.x if you think 2.0
is useless. The W3C doesn't force (or even recommend) that its most
recent technologies be used. If this isn't the case, I'd like a
reference of some kind. You shouldn't move from HTML to XHTML 1.x if
what you really want is HTML. Equally, you shouldn't move from XHTML
1.x to XHTML 2.0 if what you really want is 1.x.

[The WAI point listed in the article should be clarified since it's
inaccurate. It seems to mean "if you're using XHTML, use XHTML 2.0."
But I think what it's supposed to mean is more precise, like "if
you're using XHTML 1.x, use the latest version of XHTML 1." *Not* "if
you're using XHTML, use the latest version of XHTML." That doesn't
make sense because the technologies may have major changes. Fixing the
reference, which is wrong, seems a better idea than changing the name
of XHTML 2.0 to something else, since it really is XHTML 2.0.]

My view is that XHTML 1.x is supposed to be xHTML (with a small x).
It's supposed to be usable now and continue a (very slow, if need be)
migration to pure XHTML from pure HTML. [Note: This is not required.
You don't need to move from HTML for any reason dictated by the W3C.]
XHTML 2.0 is the next step. It's supposed to be usable in the future,
perhaps a long time in the future, as a sort of "HTML done right." By
definition, then, anyone who tries to use XHTML 2.0 on the real web
the day it's recommended is in for a world of hurt. Anyone who thinks
XHTML is a purist's dream is right--that doesn't mean the dream can't
become a reality. That's because they should continue using XHTML 1.x.
Does that make sense?

Someone said XHTML 2.0 abuses its lack of backwards compatibility to
take out or replace useful (but flawed) elements instead of
deprecating them. But that's the point. XHTML isn't backwards
compatible because it isn't meant to "replace" HTML or XHTML 1.x at
all. XHTML 1.x remains a valid technology.

I think Mark Pilgrim is mad for a couple reasons. One, he
misunderstands the goal of XHTML 2.0 (in short, it's probably not for
him, ever, and it's not for the mainstream until the future--if it
ever becomes as popular as HTML, and I doubt it). Two, he's
criticizing XHTML 2.0 like it's a finished product (it's not, quite
simply, and it says so near the beginning). I think the only thing I
agree with him about is the style attribute, and I have little doubt
it will be included in the final version of XHTML 2.0.

Received on Wednesday, 15 January 2003 19:42:57 UTC

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