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   Re: Why do we write standards?

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  • From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
  • To: "'XMLDev list'" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 13:50:32 -0600

Don Park wrote:
> Paul Prescod wrote:
> >> HTML 4.0 specification
> >> XHTML 1.0
> >
> >These specifications *do not apply* to XHTML mixed with other
> >specifications. They don't say what it means to have a TITLE
> >in a FOOBAR in a table. They just don't answer the relevant question!
> On the contrary, I can not see how anyone who reads the TITLE element
> section of the HTML 4.0 spec can decide to use it inside anything
> other than the HEAD element.  If the designer wants to reuse the
> tag name 'title' then he should not be using the HTML namespace for
> the TITLE tag.

The title is metadata for a document. An HTML-ish variant might allow
FOOBARs to be like HTML documents embedded in other documents. Then a
FOOBAR needs a title just as other HTML documents need titles.

> >> XHTML 1.1 - Module-based XHTML
> >> Modularization of XHTML
> >> Building XHTML Modules
> >
> >Great. When these specifications are done, we can standardize a
> >namespace.
> While these specs are not done yet, they are already a great
> resource for those trying to design composite documents.  Many
> knowledgable folks have spent a great deal of effort writing these
> specs and I totally disagree with the position that these specs
> are worth nothing until it reaches Recommendation status.

You are addressing a different issue. You are talking about using these
specifications and their associated namespace experimentally. Previously
you and David were talking about creating a namespace with no normative
reference to these specifications. Then people would just use their
"common sense" instead of requiring adherance to the specifications.
That's a very different thing.

It's the difference between encouraging experimentation with XML before
XML is done and inventing the XML declaration before inventing XML.
"Just put this on top of an SGML document and use your common sense.
Once enough of these XML-labelled documents are out there, we'll see
what people are doing and standardize it."

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for himself
"Chaos is the Engine" - Len Bullard

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