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   Re: [xml-dev] Is XHTML 2.0 already an Anachronism?

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On Tuesday 17 September 2002 8:08 pm, AndrewWatt2000@aol.com wrote:

> If backwards compatibility is explicitly not an aim for XHTML 2.0 then what
> reasons are there for persevering with further development of HTML?

A related sentiment would be 'what reasons are there for persevering with the 
late-90's model of browsing the web with an all-in-one amazing performing web 
browser that is percieved as a bigger thing than the computer OS'? In other 
words, given that in the old days when browsers first emerged, pretty much 
the only way of experiencing the web was through a desktop computer, or a 
laptop enslaved to a modem connected to a phone socket (which amounts to the 
same thing). 

Today is different - we can experience the web without a complicated computer 
that's always going wrong (or it seems that way to most non computer 
experts), using such appliances as PDAs or the nicer and newer phones that 
are appearing. We can also do it without needing to be near a phone socket or 
mains supply - or if we do, we can chose to do it using a familiar and 
trusted box such as the television.

None of those items implicitly bring a legacy browser with them, and when they 
do have something that you'd recognise as a 'browser', it's often a fairly 
slim affair the purpose of which is to present you with the content only, not 
something that promotes itself, its parent company, festooned with buttons 
menus and controls, and generally tries to run your life for you.

This is where XHTML 2 can afford the clean break it would make. We need things 
which will make the clumsy self-opiniated legacy desktop browser dinosaurs 
look pretty silly, and maybe they'll all die out eventually. 

Also coming to mind are things such as KDE's Konqueror (or Apple's old 
Cyberdog) - where the user doesn't (or need not) differentiate whether 
they're opening a window to a local folder, a networked folder, or a web 
resource somewhere - it's all just basically the act of opening a window to 
'something', and witnessing the manifestation of what's in there. Is this 
browsing, or just opening a window? I think the difference in semantics and 
perception is important.

Ian Tindale


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