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

David Megginson david at
Mon Aug 30 02:20:35 BST 1999

Paul Prescod writes:

 > You keep repeating that it makes your life so much harder but what would
 > be so brutal about standardizing and recognizing an equivalence
 > declaration? For HTML's simple idea of equivalence, it would be trivial.

It's going to be brutal just getting people to create well-formed
XHTML documents and to include the Namespace declaration; getting
software developers to recognize all three XHTML Namespaces (even if
doing so requires only a three lines of code) will be all the more
difficult, and introduces three times the opportunity for bugs and for 
interoperability problems because of omissions.

 > > Fortunately, XML isn't source code (or compiled code), so we don't
 > > have the same problem 
 > We have exactly the same problem. Assumptions about the form of the
 > input may cease to be valid when the input's version number
 > shifts. 

This will be the third time that I've mentioned that I agree that some
sort of versioning is useful.  Most processors won't care most of the
time, so the versioning shouldn't take a form that makes their life
harder, but what's wrong with a 'version' attribute in the HTML
Namespace?  Processors that don't need it can ignore it, and those
that do need it can still get the information they need.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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