XML and HTML Intermixed

Jon Bosak Jon.Bosak at Eng.Sun.COM
Fri Jun 27 06:38:58 BST 1997

[Bob Seibel:]

| Let's say I used a style sheet to display the contents. It seems to me
| that using HTML tags intermixed with XML tags is a good thing. I don't
| have to reinvent my own tags when HTML already defines them.

You can mix tags all you want; with the exception of a handful of
reserved names, the XML name space belongs to you.  But this means
that "UL" has no more meaning to an XML processor than "SOLUTION"
does; in both cases, you must use some other mechanism to specify the
semantics.  The most common mechanisms are going to be Java classes or

Some people have suggested the definition of an "HTXML" to grandfather
existing HTML tags but let you define any other tag that is not HTML.
One great big problem with this approach is that if HTXML is based on
HTML 4.0 (say), and HTML 4.0 has no SOLUTION tag, and therefore you
use SOLUTION all through your documents assuming a particular meaning
for SOLUTION, and then in HTML 4.1 a tag named SOLUTION with a
different meaning is defined, you're hosed.

A possible way out of this would be to define a reserved attribute to
tell an XML browser that you want some element type to have the
semantics of some HTML tag:


This has some advantages, but given the speed with which XML is
moving, I personally am not persuaded that it's worth the trouble.


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