Re: text/html for xml extensions of XHTML


> > 1) For some time to come, most web authors will be preparing content
> >    that will be read predominantly with older user agents, and
> >    therefore need to send documents as text/html.
> >
> > 2) For some time to come, many web authors will end up sending XHTML
> >    as text/html due to circumstances beyond their control, even if
> >    they are willing to send it as text/xml.
> I acknowledge those points completely. Neither of these points require any
> documents sent as text/html to be handled as text/xml by any browser.

Ah.  I think I see where we differ then.   

What I would like to be able to do is prepare an XHTML document in
accordance with the HTML compatibility guidelines from Appendix C of
the XHTML spec, *except* for the inclusion of MathML instances.
Obviously, the math is worthless in older user agents, but I would
like the rest of my page to show up, so I could, for example, tell
readers they need to get a spiffy new browser like Mozilla to see the
math properly.

But of course, that won't work.  If my hypothetical reader does
install Mozilla, and revisits the page, the math will still be trash,
since the document is being served as text/html.  Alternatively, if I
were to send the document as text/xml, then my hypothetical reader
never saw the message about upgrading in the first place, since
instead, he or she got a "Save File As" dialog box.

So, as you have suggested on a number of previous occasions, the only
solution remaining is for the author to learn about and implement
one of the various methods of detecting the user agent and either
redirecting to a different document or dynamically assigning a MIME
type.  That isn't a very big deal for professionals, but it will take
it out of the realm of what is feasible for most school teachers.


Robert Miner                          
MathML 2.0 Specification Co-editor                    651-223-2883
Design Science, Inc.   "How Science Communicates"

Received on Thursday, 3 May 2001 18:16:50 UTC