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

Tim Bray tbray at
Sun Aug 29 22:59:23 BST 1999

At 03:54 PM 8/29/99 -0400, Ann Navarro wrote:
>>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.

Just all the HTML-processing code I've ever written.  Which is quite a bit
of code but admittedly a tiny subset of the universe.

Let me play it another way.  There is one class of application - authoring
software - that potentially cares about which DTD is in play (although 
I've not observed that successful HTML editors seem to care very much).  All
other classes that I can think of think an <h2> is an <h2> is an <h2>.

Thus, the namespace selection for XHTML 1.0 is strongly biased in favor
of the creators of authoring applications, at a cost of substantially more
work for the creators of all others.  Maybe this is the intent, but I 
don't recall seeing ever put that way - am I missing something obvious,

At the end of the day, it's probably not a big problem.  The idea of 
having *one* canonical namespace URI that is conventionally used to refer
to the collection of tags generally known as "HTML" is just so incredibly
useful that the XHTML 1.0 design errors won't get in the way - someone 
will just propose that "from here on in, let's agree to use to mean HTML" and it'll catch on and that'll be
the end of the story.  It's kind of sad that the HTML WG has chosen not to
provide the world with this incredibly useful (and needed *right now*)
conventional identifier, but have no fear, someone else will. -Tim

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list