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

On Fri, 26 Oct 2001, Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:

> * Ann Navarro wrote:
> >
> >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"
>       "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">



In an argument between Content-Type: (a HTTP protocal layer declaration)
and DOCTYPE (an explicit declaration _within_ the document as to what it
is that exists even when a document is NOT being delivered via the web),
DOCTYPE wins. If you consider 'Content-Type' to be _advisory_ rather than
_canonical_, it works fine.

Given that 'text/html' has been used since HTML pretty much consisted of
'whatever Mosaic/CERN linemode/lynx' would accept' and never changed as
HTML went from no number to 'whatever Netscape/Microsoft would accept' to
2.0 to 3.2 to 4.0, claiming to know what 'text/html' "is" is more than
somewhat questionable in _any_ context.

XHTML works fine in practice. I have used it routinely for well over a
year (I even have an 'XHTML compatibility' guidelines page posted on my
company intranet for it). XHTML aware browsers 'get it' automatically,
HTML browsers are (with vanishingly few exceptions) NOT SGML parsers and
so 'get it' as well.

Benjamin Franz

 "Code as if whoever maintains your code is a violent
  psychopath who knows where you live."
                    -- Nancy Lebovitz, the button lady