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   RE: [xml-dev] Slightly off, but... was: XUL appears to be dead,isthereso

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On Tue, 9 Jul 2002, Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer wrote:

> > Yes, because HTML is not XML.
> > Seriously now, we're in 2002 and one would expect native XHTML support
> > layered on top of XML support. Instead, current XHTML support is
> largely
> > based on "legacy" HTML support software. That's why it's tough to move
> > along and work with XHTML modularization etc. Most browsers don't even
> > fully implement namespaces... And namespaces are the means to
> > distinguish vocabularies these days (RDF people will jump out now:).

> On the other hand, if we look at the most recent browsers, like IE6,
> I'm always amazed how much does work now already. You can
> use Modularization and Namespaces, and mix and match XML,
> use CSS to style it and get a meaningful result. Its just that most
> people aren't aware what IE6 and Mozilla 1.x can already do
> today. And yes, without some back-door like Flash, you cannot
> seriously author for just those newest browsers just yet.

> So you can throw any arbitrary XML at IE6, style it
> with CSS *and* import anything you like from XHTML
> thru namespaces. That's exactly the Modularization idea 
> implemented right there. Mozilla is just not there yet but very close.
> I do think we are getting there...
> - Sebastian
> [1] http://webaccess.mozquito.com/features/index.xml
This may be going further off topic, but I had an idea for handling other
markups in existing browsers beyond simply styling them with CSS.  Rather
than compile in support for such things as MathML or need Microsoft's
weird "binary behaviors" to put SVG into an XHTML page, I propose
"namespace plug-ins".

Consider: a browser now gets some MIME type that isn't text/html, so it
looks up the MIME type in a list of plug-ins and throws the data to the
appropriate plug-in, which returns some sort of result through the plug-in

Why not have some API such that, when the browser hits markup with a
namespace whose URI it's not equipped to handle, it throws the data to a
plug-in which returns a "box" with the appropriate display (which might be
a graphic for SVG, text and graphics for MathML, or an audio control panel
in the case of VoiceML) to the browser. All of this would be done through
some publicly-advertised API.

[This is probably impossible or infeasible, else it would certainly have 
been done long ago. But I'm just wondering.]
J. David Eisenberg  http://catcode.com/


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