[whatwg] Allow trailing slash in always-empty HTML5 elements?
elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Sat Dec 2 08:42:01 PST 2006
Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> HTML 2.0 to 4.01 documents could, in the same way you're insisting on
> using XML tools on the back end, be reliably parsed using SGML tools.
Surely you jest. First of all, I believe there was only ever one parser
that implemented all of the SGML specification, SP from James Clark. In
practice, SGML documents and parsers were not interoperable. Documents
and document types were designed to fit the limitations of one specific
Secondly, anyone who actually tried to use an SGML parser to handle HTML
rapidly hit a wall since most HTML documents were not even close to
actually conformant to the SGML spec or the HTML DTD.
XML, by contrast, learned enough from the experience of SGML to make
interoperable parsers and documents a reality. It also learned to
separate well-formedness from validity, which is certainly the single
most underrated contribution of XML to the field. Well-formedness gives
80% of the benefit of validity for 20% of the cost. In fact, a lot of
the time I'd say it gives 120% of the benefit of validity at 20% of the
cost. Well-formedness sans validity is a large part of extensibility. It
is what puts the X is XML.
A well-formed XML document is a much lower bar to aim for than a valid
Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!
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