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> Hmm, I agree with you up to a point, but a newsfeed is
> usually material intended for human consumption wrapped in a
> machine-processable envelope
True, but even in this case, RSS has proven far superior to
screen-scraping XHTML. Or are you planning to recant your support for
> for a start I suppose well-formed XML content is easier to
> wrap up as a payload, and it's easier to embed metadata in
Maybe; but not enough easier to justify the pain of forcing web
designers to deal with two different techniques. Stuffing HTML 4.x in a
CDATA section is not rocket science, and people have been doing it for
many years without much trouble. I have seen people get confused by
this, to be sure, but I have seen XHTML payloads blow up in numerous
ways too. I would argue that embedding XHTML payloads is at least as
problematic, because XML has a habit of doing things with namespace
declarations that (while completely isomorphic in infoset terms) blows
up in web browsers.
And embedding metadata is not such a problem, IMO. There are ways to do
it in HTML that work fine.
> Perhaps text-oriented content should then just be seen as an
> opaque blob that requires a Postelian viewer, whether the
> material came from a pure XML doc language, XSLT, +CSS or
> originated in grandma's text editor.
I totally agree.
> Metadata can be provided through the delivery mechanism (as in
> newsfeeds) or completely out-of-line (as in many RDF-based systems).
Again, I agree. I think it's pretty easy to stick metadata inside an
HTML doc, of course, but I also think that this is the least interesting
or useful place to put metadata in the first place.