[whatwg] Allow trailing slash in always-empty HTML5 elements?

Lachlan Hunt lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au
Sat Dec 2 22:18:04 PST 2006

Mike Schinkel wrote:
> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>>> Use XHTML, send it with an HTML MIME type, and be happy.
>> No!
> 	Why not?  What's wrong with doing that?  

Why do I need to keep repeating myself?

> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>>> In many more cases, an HTML document or even an 
>>> XHTML 1.0 as text/html document is just tag soup.
> 	What's wrong with that?

Because your just pretending its XML when its not.  That's like asking 
what's wrong with sending HTML as text/plain?!

> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>>> There were a few proprietary, incompatible, buggy engines 
>>> locked up in various browsers; and that was about it.
>> OpenSP, which is free software,
> 	Will a recommendation to use OpenSP be included in the spec?

That applied to authoring HTML 2.0 to 4.01, which are based on SGML. 
HTML5 is not based on SGML, so that doesn't apply.

> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>>> Because the fact is that when authors try to use XHTML as 
>>> text/html, they inevitibly fail to do so properly.
>>> ...
>>> There is significant evidence to show that millions of authors 
>>> make those mistakes very frequently, despite thinking they're 
>>> using XHTML.
> Again, why is this a problem?  It is no different than we have today.

The fact that it's no different from what we have today is exactly what 
the problem is.  Authors that think they're using XHTML and making bogus 
claims about its benefits even when served as text/html doesn't help 
anyone, and is infact contrary to the philosophy of XML, particularly in 
relation to error handling.

> Maybe I should ask a different question. If people write XHTML badly, what
> makes you think they will write HTML5 any better?

You're missing the point.  Those that write XHTML badly will no doubt 
write HTML badly as well.  But the point is that by using HTML, at least 
they won't be lying to themselves about the benefits they've gained from 
using XHTML!

> As I understand it, serving with the correct mime type for XHTML isn't an
> option, assuming you want people to be able to read it with current
> browsers, or am I wrong on that?
> ...
> And what MIME type should he be using that will work on today's Internet?

Either application/xml or application/xhtml+xml are recommended.

However, that's not the question you should be asking.  Instead, your 
question should be if XHTML isn't supported adequately for your needs on 
today's internet, but HTML is, why should you bother trying to output 
XHTML at all?

Lachlan Hunt

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