an unfilled need

Tim Bray tbray at
Mon Sep 6 17:51:55 BST 1999

At 10:28 PM 9/5/99 -0700, David Brownell wrote:
>I hope this begins to reflect some kind of consensus -- "First,
>do no harm".  The XHTML spec will be helpful without addressing
>the namespace issue -- a straight XML 1.0 application.  Although
>I'd far prefer to see a single namespace defined for (X)HTML, it
>could wait for a while yet.

No it can't!  The damage is already starting to creep in - for example,
look at IE5, which recognizes HTML tags using the hardwired prefix
"html:" - something any moron can see is fragile and broken.  But we
can't reasonably get mad at Microsoft because the W3C just can't be bothered
to define a name for HTML, something that would take about 15 minutes
once they realized it was worth doing.  Yes, I've raised this point
repeatedly within the W3C - I don't know what the problem is.

Maybe it's as Ann points out - since we haven't yet built a universal
related-package-of-truth discovery mechanism for XML, they're going to
punish us by denying us the limited (but real) benefits of a robust,
reliable way to distinguish which tags are HTML and which aren't.

Dammit, if the W3C obstinately refuses to give HTML a name for
programmers to hang their hats on, I'm going to start a campaign right
here in xml-dev for *us* to pick something, it'll be easier than 
designing SAX. -Tim

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