[whatwg] clear naming for WHAT work

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 14 07:58:38 PDT 2004

Dean Jackson wrote:
> I suggested privately that you call this effort HTML 5. I
> still think this is a good idea. I notice that your DOCTYPE includes
> "HTML5".

    I think that "HTML 5.0" would be the best name for the standardized 
version of the drafts we're working on, and I wouldn't mind seeing 
"HTML5" used in the doctype for the combination of all the drafts.

> Dave Hyatt responded that HTML 5 was a bad name because the new
> features work in XHTML as well.

    I don't see why. XHTML 1.1 doesn't have the same version number as 
HTML 4.01, and no one complains about that. Then again, perhaps I don't 
understand his position.

 > Is this acceptable? One of the
> benefits of XHTML is that you (are supposed to :) know what is
> happening. If it is an extension to XHTML, it probably should
> use the XHTML extension mechanisms. 

    As far as I know, it does, in the form of an XHTML module called 

> I really don't think you should add new elements like <output> to the
> XHTML namespace. The reason the namespace is there is precisely so you
> don't have to do this.

    I'm not convinced of this. If that were so, you'd have to create a 
new namespace every time you wanted to expand functionality. Over time, 
that would create a massive number of namespaces and cause significant 
confusion. To me, namespaces are for separation by category or type, not 
by revision or extension.

 > Tim Bray describes this better than me.  (For
> full disclosure, the W3C also broke this rule when adding Ruby to the
> XHTML namespace - but IMO it's still wrong).

    So really, there isn't a consistent standard for not using 
namespaces in this situation anyway...

> Alternatively, declare that your HTML 5 is never XHTML, and define a way
> to make an XML version of HTML 5 (if it is needed), with a different
> name (and ns). Say XHTML-WHAT-5?  Note that I haven't looked into the
> trademarking of HTML and XHTML - maybe all this is impossible anyway.

    There's no real reason to remake XHTML when we can simply add a new 
module or set of modules to it. After all, we aren't removing existing 
markup or changing its function in the context of legacy content.

> Tim Bray also suggests that you fake the namespaces in HTML
> (ie <what:output>). I'm with him on this. 

    What (no pun intended), are we going to do about the people who are 
switching from HTML5 to XHTML? Do you expect them to have memorized what 
namespace every element is in? This will significantly add to the XHTML 
learning curve and make hand conversion of HTML to XHTML more complicated.

> A final point. How open are these specifications?  The reason I ask is
> that it *may* be the case that some things here are useful in W3C
> work. Can we use it, with attribution of course?   At the moment it
> says (c) Opera, which is fine but I suggest you have some licensing
> agreement in place as soon as possible.

    Ian has already asked Opera to put it in public domain. The only 
reason it hasn't been already is that lawyers are involved.

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