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Re: [xml-dev] Microsoft's deeply cynical appeal to"standards compliance"

* Ann Navarro wrote:
>At 12:01 AM 10/26/2001 +0200, Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:
>>* Edd Dumbill wrote:
>> >    (Incidentally, does anyone recall that IE6 has proper XHTML support,
>> >    I remember the Microsoft chap at WWW10 saying directly XHTML support
>> >    wouldn't make it into version 6).
>>XHTML support in IE6 is absent. In fact, using XHTML on the World Wide
>>Web today is close to impossible while claiming compliance to anything.
>Contrary to popular myth, XHTML doesn't necessarily need "direct support" 
>at all. Following the backward compatibility guidelines one can write fully 
>valid XHTML documents that display in nearly any browser, especially the 
>most recent ones without any trouble.
>There's no impossible conformance requirements at all.

XHTML documents delivered as text/html must be parsed as HTML documents,
not as XML documents, thus SGML rules apply. Consider a simple case like

  <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
  <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
  <meta name='foo' content='bar' />

The /> closes the meta Element in HTML, to be more precise, the slash
closes the element and the &gt; is character data. Character data is
invalid in <head>, thus <head> is closed and <body> opened. From now
on the behaivour is undefined (since the document is invalid, character
data must not appear as direct child of <body> in Strict document types)
but the recommended behaivour would be to render the &gt; first and then
the "..." from the title element. In conforming applications.

XHTML's "compatibility" builds upon non-conformance of current browsers.
XHTML is *not compatible* with HTML4, parsing rules are very different
and in conforming implementations, XHTML won't work. Emacs-w3 is a
browser that implements HTML4 better (read: conforming) in this regard,
it will for example display the &gt; as character data. Building web
sites that rely on non-conforming browsers might be a good idea in some
peoples minds, but they are asking for trouble. What do you think would
those standards advocates delivering XHTML as text/html do, if Microsoft
fully implements HTML4 in Internet Explorer 7? Most of their sites would
break to some extend. Be careful what you wish for.

Björn "advocatus diaboli and using text/html-XHTML himself" Höhrmann.

PS: This is not strictly ontopic for this list, feel free to followup to
    XHTML-L if you like.
Björn Höhrmann { mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de } http://www.bjoernsworld.de
am Badedeich 7 } Telefon: +49(0)4667/981028 { http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
25899 Dagebüll { PGP Pub. KeyID: 0xA4357E78 } http://www.learn.to/quote/