an unfilled need

David Brownell david-b at
Mon Sep 6 21:07:49 BST 1999

Tim Bray wrote:
> 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:" 

OK, I confess to overstating my real point:  that the two issues
could in fact be separated:

	* An DTD for XHTML is a useful thing in its own right,
	  usable immediately in conjunction with other parts
	  of the current XHTML draft.

	* The namespace structure of XHTML is separable, and in
	  fact doesn't need a DTD (or schema) in order to be useful.
	  (With a good DTD structure it just costs an <!ATTLIST...>!)

It's clearly my preference to see one namespace.  And I'll agree
that the issue can't remain unresolved for too much longer, since
people have needed this answer for longer than they've needed an
official XHTML DTD.  (How many unofficial DTDs have folk seen or
used?  Let me count the ways ... ;-)

But since they're separable, it still seems reasonable to me that
the XHTML PR train continue on its mad rush to REC status -- but that
the namespace issue could be untied from the railroad tracks and led
aside, first.

> 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

I've thought the very thing.  Not about committee design of a URL
(pick a reasonable one and go with it), but about xml-dev acting as
the nucleus around which a better solution can form.


Sure, I'd vote for it.  Now we need DTDs using this.

Does anyone want to get one that's done right -- using conditional
sections to disable transitional or frameset rules appropriately,
rather than having three separate DTDs?  :-)

- Dave

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