[whatwg] a few comments to Webforms 2.0 Call For Comments
hsivonen at iki.fi
Sat Jul 31 04:58:02 PDT 2004
On Jul 31, 2004, at 03:58, Matthew Thomas wrote:
> On 31 Jul, 2004, at 7:00 AM, Matthew Raymond wrote:
>> I recommend that, for HTML documents with the W2 doctype, there
>> should always be a default option selected, regardless if that
>> default is specified. Therefore, if none of the radio buttons are
>> set, the first radio button in the group would automatically be set.
>> If WF2 isn't specified as the doctype, we'll default to HTML 4.01
>> behavior, even if WF2 markup is used. The WF2 spec should recommend
>> the use of a radio button "Not Specified" for a default value if the
>> user does not wish to select an option.
> I like that idea.
First of all, the solution needs to apply to XHTML as well as HTML. If
we still assume XML is to be taken seriously (and not as tag soup),
doctype sniffing on the XML side is totally, utterly bogus. The reason
why it is bogus is that including a DTD by reference and pasting it
inline are supposed to be equivalent for validating XML processor and
in the latter case you don't see a public identifier for the DTD.
Hence, using the public identifier for any purpose other than locating
the DTD is just plain wrong. Of course, sane real-world XHTML user
agents use non-validating XML processors which makes the inclusion of
the doctype declaration rather pointless. I think the current WF2
stance of encouraging doctypelessness on the XML side is the right way
Now, similar argumentation does not work on the HTML side if we agree
not to pretend that real SGML is being processed. Doctype sniffing is a
tag soup solution to a tag soup problem. Still, doctype sniffing is
already confusing and convoluted enough for casual authors. (See
http://iki.fi/hsivonen/doctype.html for subtle differences between user
agents.) I think perturbing it further is a bad idea. Besides, you
can't force the existing installed base of browsers to do new tricks
with doctypes which would mean different defaulting.
hsivonen at iki.fi
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