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Re: XHTML 2.0: Stay the course

From: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 17:17:47 -0800
To: Micah Dubinko <MDubinko@cardiff.com>, "'www-html@w3.org'" <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BA4B47A4.1F378%tantek@cs.stanford.edu>

On 1/15/03 2:22 PM, "Micah Dubinko" <MDubinko@cardiff.com> wrote:

> This is just a short response to the whole 'XHTML 2 considered harmful'
> meme.
> I recently went through the recent XHTML 2 drafts carefully to get a handle
> on what has changed. The results are at [1]. Less has changed than the
> impression I got from reading various blogs this week. :-)

The problem is not just what has changed, but what is being pushed to change
(vis-a-vis XLink ugliness and other usability-unfriendly "generic XML"

> I see lots of conflicting wants and needs on this list. The reasonable
> course is to keep moving forward. I don't support the notion of scrapping or
> renaming XHTML 2.0. Prioritization is worth discussing, as always.

I agree with your last point that prioritization is worth discussing.


> Specific issues (<cite>, 'style' attribute, <separator/>, etc.) are all
> solvable problems, especially when clear goals are in mind [2].

The fact that they arose as problems to begin with indicates that the
process (or priorities, or both) are seriously broken as Daniel Glazman
pointed out.

> Given all the discussions, especially recently, it would be good for the
> HTML WG to pause and write up a separate requirements document, which would
> help everybody understand the goal and tradeoffs inherent in the work being
> done.

Completely agreed.

My comments on the goals:

Having thought about XHTML2 and its goals more, and where the web is today
and could/should be tomorrow, I think XHTML2 as scoped does not make any
sense for the HTML WG to work on.

In my opinion the problems from XHTML2 can be traced back to two design
 1. Use more "generic XML" technologies
 2. Not be backward compatible

As long as XHTML2 has these two "requirements", I think it will only be bad
for the web and fail.

I believe in prioritizing and focusing time and effort on:
  1. HTML4 errata and test suites
  2. the same for XHTML 1.x
  3. a further simplified/reduced XHTML Basic 1.1
  4. profiles of SVG and SMIL that could be added to XHTML Basic for a
richer interactive media format.

Rather than a fear-inspiring XHTML2, I would like to see:
  1. improved versions of some of the modules in XHTML M18N,
  2. perhaps even a new module or two with new elements (like some of the
new elements in XHTML2 which I do think have merit).

Whether those modules get bundled up into a new version of XHTML is another
matter, and perhaps a lot less relevant, because authors should
theoretically be able to simply pick and choose modules to form their own
XHTML family language.

Someone said on www-html that XHTML 2.0 is going to be like HTML 3.0.
I think that is optimistic at best.


Received on Wednesday, 15 January 2003 20:01:37 UTC

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