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

Ann Navarro ann at
Sun Aug 29 23:20:42 BST 1999

At 02:02 PM 8/29/99 -0700, Tim Bray wrote:

>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>.

If you limit the argument  to current applications, perhaps.

What about authors? What about those who want to gracefully transform 
across platforms and browsers? Do they not count in this equation? Those 
authors care about DTDs, in that the DTD provides validation, which can 
help ensure that portability.

>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.

Faulty assumption.

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

If someone wants to propose a name for *HTML* -- they certainly can. We're 
not working in that space any longer.

We don't feel in any way that we've failed the world in providing them 
something useful.


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

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