[whatwg] clear naming for WHAT work

Jim Ley jim.ley at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 07:19:42 PDT 2004

On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 13:59:03 +0000 (UTC), Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> I don't understand why extending HTML would be any different than
> extending XHTML. In the UAs, they are internally considered the same
> anyway, so you can't really extend one without extending the other.

Of course you can, internals of existing browsers are pretty
irrelevant to future specifications, and browsers such as Mozilla
already do completely different things in respect to XHTML and HTML
(mozilla's xhtml is too useless to be used with its lack of
incremental rendering, yet its HTML rendering is pretty good.)  Of
course this is at a different part to the eventual rendering code
which might be shared, but it shows how easy it is to have seperate
behaviour for different mark-up languages I think.

> > Tim Bray also suggests that you fake the namespaces in HTML (ie
> > <what:output>). I'm with him on this.
> This isn't, IMHO, good design. Authors do not care if the tags were
> invented by WHATWG or W3C or Microsoft or Netscape; they just want to use
> them.

I think you need to come up with something a lot more persuasive than
this, users who don't understand namespaces are just as likely to
understand <what:output> as the whole tag to enter, all you need to do
is require that the only prefix to use is what, and stupid developers
won't need to know about "namespaces".  As to the boilerplate xmlns: 
gibberish at the top, thanks to great decisions from browser vendors
like "standards mode rendering".  even the stupidest author
understands the importance of such gibberish.

> Fragmenting the specs is a bad thing.

So why are there 2 specs (web forms and web-apps) when you say
yourself above this is really just HTML 5 or similar, that certainly
looks like fragmentation to me.


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