ATTN: Please comment on XHTML (before it's too late)

Ann Navarro ann at
Sun Aug 29 21:57:22 BST 1999

At 12:42 PM 8/29/99 -0700, Tim Bray wrote:
>At 03:13 PM 8/29/99 -0400, Ann Navarro wrote:
> >>HTML4 has 3 DTDs.  That certainly doesn't mean it's 3 languages.  It's
> >>routine for a language to have multiple DTDs for different purposes.
> >>It's surprising for it to have 3 names. -T.
> >
> >But since the purpose of names is an abstract function designed to prevent
> >collisions in naming, it does not necessarily follow that having three
> >names is "bad" even if it does "surprise".
>Except for, 99.99999% of programmers WANT "strict" <h2> and "transitional"
><h2> to collide.

Citations to anything aside from supposition? I find this incredibly hard 
to stomach.

>  If most people who processed HTML were engaged in DTD-
>sensitive validation, the multiple namespaces would have been a good idea.
>Except for almost nobody is, so they're a bad idea.

So because much of the HTML-using public was under-educated about DTDs, 
let's forget about the distinctions?

There is a *significant* difference in strict <h2> and transitional <h2>. 
Presentational attributes are forbidden in the former, and allowed in the 
later. Yes, they are the same basic structure (a heading of level 2), but 
the allowable attributes are far from the same.

Remember, that XHTML 1.0 is the very first step in this project.
It is a reformulation of the *existing HTML 4.0 spec* (3 flavors), into 
XML. It does that.

No where in that spec does it say it will remain with three flavors forever.


Ann Navarro
Author: Effective Web Design: Master the Essentials
Buy it Online!
Owner, WebGeek Communications
Vice President, HTML Writers Guild

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