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   RE: ATTN: Please comment on XHTML (before it's too late)

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  • From: Mark Birbeck <Mark.Birbeck@iedigital.net>
  • To: xml-dev <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 17:49:14 +0100

Tim Bray wrote:
> Ann Navarro wrote:
> > But since the purpose of names is an abstract function 
> > designed to prevent collisions in naming, it does not
> > necessarily follow that having three names is "bad" even
> > if it does "surprise".
> Except for, 99.99999% of programmers WANT "strict" <h2> and 
> "transitional" <h2> to collide.  If most people who processed
> HTML were engaged in DTD-sensitive validation, the multiple
> namespaces would have been a good idea. Except for almost nobody
> is, so they're a bad idea. -Tim

So why then would they bother using XHTML?

Surely the whole point of XHTML is to allow the processing of existing
HTML using XML techniques. Beyond that I can't see much use for it in
its current incarnation. For example, you can't embed data from other
namespaces without dropping the reference to the DTD (this is how the
MathML example in the proposal works, section 3.1.2), but that is a
limitation of DTDs, not XHTML.

When XML Schemas get really moving then I would hope that we would end
up with a very modular XHTML, with modules for tables, modules for
frames, and so on. Then I could embed a table in another document, for
example, without having to have HEAD/TITLE/BODY. And I could pick just
the bits of XHTML I wanted for a particular display device, attaching
references to schemas at key nodes in the document.

I think a number of contributors have very patiently explained that this
is only XHTML 1.0. It handles the ability to process HTML as if it were
XML, and for that we should be grateful. I'm using that feature quite a


Mark Birbeck

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