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   Re: [xml-dev] What are the arguments *for* XHTML 2.0?

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I found the responses from you and Simon disappointing. Surely we can discuss like adults whether or not further development of XHTML 2.0 is a good thing or not.

In a message dated 19/11/2002 17:38:49 GMT Standard Time, mc@xegesis.org writes:

> Another formulation might be, "Starting with a clean sheet of paper, does
> it make sense to develop XHTML further?".

The sheet of paper isn't clean.

Oh come on Mike. I gave you and Simon a much fuller formulation of the question and you both start with this type of comment.

You are both intelligent guys. I am sure that you can separate the notion of starting from a complex real world position from the notion of how best to proceed from that complex position with all assumptions being examined.

Do you genuinely find that distinction difficult to grasp?

If you start with the view that it is axiomatic that further development of XHTML 2.0 is good then you totally avoid a rational, intelligent analysis of the situation.

  HTML is the most widely deployed document
format in history.

I suspect that paper and ink still is. :) But if you simply meant to say that HTML is widely deployed then of course I accept that.

The fact that HTML is widely deployed makes Simon's response about the apocalyptic threat of abandoning XHTML 2.0 all the more difficult to take at face value.

If XHTML 2.0 was abandoned then what is the "threat" to IE6, Mozilla 1.x etc etc? They will still work for the foreseeable future.

  XHTML would be irrelevant if HTML didn't exist, sure.  But

since HTML does exist, the question is whether to let it ossify or whether to let it

No, there is another more fundamental question which I was trying to get at which is whether, bearing in mind HTML's strengths and limitations, it is better to make a decision to abandon further development of XHTML 2.0 in favour of some other option.

  (Or rather,
to have it evolve at the W3C or have it fragment into pieces that will
evolve separately).
Those who don't like the W3C should think hard about the likely alternative
venues for
the larger fragments of the HTML standard ...a "Web Browser
Interoperability Organization" with RAND-friendly IP rules, maybe?  "Hello,
I'm the Devil you know.
I'd like to introduce you to the Devil you don't know. I'm sure you'll hit
it off just fine."

LOL. Oh Mike, come on. You can do better than that! :)

Surely the argument isn't whether to have the "HTML" standard be maintained
in SGML syntax or in XML syntax? 

Well that question is one option. If W3C won't run with HTML (which is where I believe the vast majority of Web developers are still at) maybe someone else *should*.

OK I will go and sit in the heretics corner for a month for daring to even mention on XML-Dev the possibility that XML isn't the perfect solution to everything! :)

In retrospect, maybe converting to XML

didn't add a whole lot of value to the spec itself, but if it gets Joe
Webmaster to learn the well-
formedness constraints, its a win IMHO :-)

So, implicitly you are acknowledging that XTHML 1.0 didn't add much. There we agree. So why is it hard to ask the question "Well we got to XHTML 1.0 does it *really*, after careful thought, make sense to proceed to XHTML 2.0?".

W3C seems to be deciding that, for example, version 1.0 is as far as it goes with XLink and XPointer (although they could re-examine that later). What makes XHTML immune from legitimate questions about how desirable further development of XHTML is and which version should be the last? Is XHTML 2.0 some sacred W3C cow with its own coterie of high priests at whose feet we all need to unquestioningly bow?

After all, in time it is essential with respect to any technology to come to some decision about whether another version of that technology makes sense or not. After all, I am not a supporter of the development of DOS version 23.4. :) And I suspect you aren't either.

I think I know the agenda of some of the parties

Fascinating! :)

Care to expound further?

I will simply comment that the rush of logical support for further development of XHTML 2.0 is echoing in the silence! If the logical arguments exist it isn't usual for XML-Dev list members to be diffident in expressing them. Perhaps the silence is because the arguments ... when you stop to think more carefully about whether further development of XHTML 2.0 is sensible or not ... are surprisingly and worryingly weak.

You may be interested to know that, at present, there is a similar deafening silence on XHTML-L in terms of arguments, other than those Simon put forward, in support of XHTML 2.0 being a good idea. I find that very surprising if there are powerful arguments in favour of continuing development of XHTML 2.0. Maybe the Emperor (or should that be high priest?) is standing there imagining himself arrayed in XHTML 2.0 finery and the little boy has shouted out, "Hey that guy has no clothes on!". Worth some careful thought, I suggest.

You have to wonder why there is silence from Ann Navarro on XML-Dev and from Shane McCarron on XHTML-L. Perhaps they have never asked themselves the question, "Should development of XHTML 2.0 be abandoned?". Or perhaps they are finding it surprisingly difficult to compose some cogent reasons for continuing.

Andrew Watt


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