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Re: text/html for xml extensions of XHTML

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Mon, 07 May 2001 08:48:54 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Aaron Swartz <aswartz@swartzfam.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: "William F. Hammond" <hammond@csc.albany.edu>, <mozilla-mathml@mozilla.org>, <www-talk@w3.org>
At 11:45 PM 5/6/01 -0500, Aaron Swartz wrote:
>I'm not sure what you mean by this, and although I've spent a lot of time in
>the XML community, I've never heard it before. Certainly in data-oriented
>XML formats the whole idea is for XML to degrade gracefully (ignore new
>stuff). HTML has always followed this rule and I'd hope that XHTML would
>continue this even further.

Huh?  Ignore new stuff works in certain contexts, perhaps - with CSS, for 
instance, when there isn't explicit formatting specified for a particular 

XML program structures, even without validation running, are typically far 
too brittle to ignore extra information caused by extra child 
elements.  You'd get a lot of strange errors where documents that could be 
processed in certain contexts would fail in others.

I've argued for a long while that flexibility (not standardization) of 
vocabularies is the real lesson of XML, but that's not reflected in current 

Simon St.Laurent - Associate Editor, O'Reilly & Associates
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
XHTML: Migrating Toward XML
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books
Received on Monday, 7 May 2001 08:48:45 UTC

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