[whatwg] clear naming for WHAT work

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Tue Aug 17 08:22:23 PDT 2004

On 17 Aug 2004, at 15:19, Jim Ley wrote:

> 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

Unless you want those specifications implemented in the near future.

> , 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.

FWIW, I believe (but I could be wrong) that Mozilla (and Safari) don't 
implement incremental rendering for XML documents because of 
limitations with the integration of the XML parser; it returns a single 
blob of data whereas the custom HTML parsers can return more of the 
tree as it is created (this is, I'm sure, a massive simplification).
Since parsing is independent of rendering and the parser is the one 
part of a UA that is really *required* to be different for XHTML and 
HTML documents, using that as an example doesn't support the assertion 
that it is easy to have different rendering behavior for XHTML and HTML 
without major changes to existing browsers. (there is also the side 
issue of UI problems with incremental rendering of XML documents - 
having a document apparently render and then later die with a parsing 
error as more data is received is a horrible idea)

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