why distinctions within XHTML?

roddey at us.ibm.com roddey at us.ibm.com
Wed Sep 8 00:40:22 BST 1999

>Somebody did the basic math in a comment:  three variants of XHTML will
>very quickly add an order of magnitude to the complexity of the systems
>built with it.  That's a deterrent to the use of XHTML, and discards the
>simplification that's long been at the core of the XML movement.

Does not the 'X' in XHTML pretty much mean that technically there should be no
'non-strict' version? I mean if its HTML, its HTML. But, if its XML, then it
needs to be well formed XML. I think that its going a little too far in the
direction of backwards compatability to do anything else. All parsers out there
now would reject non-strict HTML as not well formed anyway, right? I'm assuming
that non-strict (or traditional, or classic or whatever it is :-) means you
don't need a </p> for every <p> and so on, right?

So just making it really have to be well formed XML (which would avoid changing
all the parsers in the world just to deal with this) would get rid of one of the
DTDs right off the back, wouldn't it?

Maybe this was a totally ignorant statement (I've been off writing real code and
haven't been following this debate) or maybe its been said 20 times already and
sorry if so, but it makes perfect sense to me that there should be no XHTML
which is not really XML.

That still leaves the issues of how to progress standards, but it would remove
one big hair ball from our respective gullets :-)

Dean Roddey
Software Weenie
IBM Center for Java Technology - Silicon Valley
roddey at us.ibm.com

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