Application profiles Re: XHTML 1.0 returned to HTML WG

Arnold, Curt Curt.Arnold at
Thu Nov 4 17:31:16 GMT 1999

In my post on the XHTML 1.0 returning to HTML WG thread.  I said some things
from the hip that I have now rethought.

Basically, I think my original statements that the controversy was due to
misusing namespaces to indicate a particular profile of capabilities of a
processor was correct and that there has not been a good generic XML
solution to indicate what capability profiles that a document conforms to.

I had suggested that this seemed to be a clear case of trying to communicate
a hint to the eventual processor (which I still believe) and that seemed to
be an appropriate use of a Processing Instruction (which I have rethought).
The problems with using a PI is that it is not scoped (generic XML problem)
and that it would be displayed by existing some HTML processors.

How about defining a profiles attribute for the html element that is a space
delimited list of uri's that identify the application profiles that the html
element adheres to?  URI's could be established that indicate the three
application profiles that correspond with frameset, strict and transitional.
These URI's would be like namespaces in that they do not imply that their is
a resource associated with that URI that can be used to validate whether the
element adheres to that profile.

So you end up with three loosely coupled declarations:

1) A Document Type Declaration that indicates a resource that can be used to
validate the document.  Three distinct DTD's could be published
corresponding to three proposed namespaces.
2) One Namespace URI that identifies the specific tags as to be interpreted
in the XHTML namespace
3) Declarations that the html element adheres to zero or more specific
application profiles.

p.s. This suggested to me that it would be good to add types for space
delimited lists of non-space containing datatypes (reals, uris, integers,
decimals) to the list of built in types in XML Schemas.  Or to provide a
construct to define a datatype as a list of other datatypes.

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