Abusing namespaces

David Brownell david-b at pacbell.net
Fri Sep 17 16:34:26 BST 1999

Paul Prescod wrote:
> We have three grammars. According to Chomsky and "formal languages 201"
> this means we have three languages. 

Curiously, that's _not_ what the HTML spec says.  I'm amused that
nobody from W3C has responded to my points that the HTML spec uses
language like "ONE LANGUAGE" and "THE LANGUAGE" (emphasis added)
concurrently with its "three DTDs" wording ... so the W3C is
inconsistent in its use of terminology, since the terms actually
used in the HTML spec do not support the stance defending XHTML.

My radar always starts malfunctioning when I'm trying to have a
rational discussion with folk who redefine terminology to support
their points, as soon as it gets inconvenient.

The HTML world is sufficiently imprecise that the formal languges
perspective isn't applicable in any straightforward manner.  Else
surely over 90% of  the HTML in the world would not be viewable in
a browser -- it'd get rejected as rife with syntax errors.

- Dave

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