[whatwg] xml:lang and xmlns in HTML

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Sat Dec 2 02:26:30 PST 2006

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Fri, 1 Dec 2006, Robert Sayre wrote:
>> But it is a question, not a request. I don't want to request something 
>> that would be harmful. So, what is the downside of the example in that 
>> earlier email?
> Well, SVG itself would arguably be bad because it is poor from a semantic 
> standpoint. However, as far as generic author-defined semantics go, that's 
> what the "class" attribute is for. Microformats.org, for example, use the 
> "class" attribute to introduce calendar semantics and the like into HTML. 
> You take the closest fitting HTML element, semantically, and then augment 
> it with your classes.

SVG is a pretty good example because (some) browsers _do_ support the 
SVG "semantics" (in the sense that they understand when to draw a 
circle, when to draw a path, etc.). I think a lot of people who are 
complaining at the moment might be happy if there was a possibly to do:

<svg subtreeNS="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg">
<!-- SVG content here -->

And similarly with say, MathML. I don't think there's anything desirable 
about calling the attribute xmlns because the semantics would differ 
from that attribute (it would only allow namespaces on a per-subtree basis).

I don't pretend to know how parsing would work though.

"The universe doesn't care what you believe. The wonderful thing about 
science is that it doesn't ask for your faith, it just asks for your 
eyes" --- http://xkcd.com/c154.html

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