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

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at gmail.com
Sun Dec 3 01:00:03 PST 2006

Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>> Why do I need to keep repeating myself? 

Because either I'm new to the list and didn't hear it, or because your
justifications aren't making sense to me.

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

All I've heard is that people are saying and doing things that are
incorrect. That means you are assuming that, above all else, whatever people
say and do must be correct. In this specific case, I challenge that
assumption. I think the results of taking the medicine you are proposing
will be far worse than living with the disease.

>> 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!

I think it comes down to different values, which is the main cause of
empassioned debates (arguing over scarce resources is usually not as
empassioned.)  It appears you value above all else fidelity with regards to
content/media type.  On the other hand, although I respect your goal and
this it is a goal to approach, I value the outcome more than the absolute
adherence to conformity.  (Have I understand the situation correctly?)

If I am correct in my assessment then the best thing for all parties would
to be make their *values* clear to each other. Then, each respecting that
the other's values are important to them, work toward a solution that
optimizes the values for all parties. And compromises might be required in
order not to completely ignore the values of any given reasonable
contingent.  BTW, if this weren't the global Internet, it wouldn't be so
important to address the different values for everyone. :-)

BTW, I'm curious if TimBL has recently weighed in on this topic, that being
is HTML5 divergent or convergent with XHTML?

>> 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?

That's an excellent point. My answer is that I was sold on the benefits of
XHTML, and I still believe in them so I don't want to give up on the hope
that I can eventually get there. And I'll bet a lot of other web developers
feel the same way.  I'd like to see an HTML5 that runs parallel to the same
track that HTML runs on so that, someday, I might be able to jump tracks.

-Mike Schinkel

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