[whatwg] Allow trailing slash in always-empty HTML5 elements?
hsivonen at iki.fi
Sun Dec 3 04:54:02 PST 2006
On Dec 3, 2006, at 11:00, Mike Schinkel wrote:
> 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
> will be far worse than living with the disease.
First, there's XHTML--all of it the way it works as application/xhtml
+xml. I'll call it XHTML_all. Then there's a subset of XHTML that
when served as text/html to a browser that handles text/html
according to requirements imposed by the real-world legacy still
appears to "work" for the casual observer. I'll call this
At this point, it is important to realize that pro-XHTML advocacy is
based on reasoning derived from the properties of XHTML_all when it
is processed as application/xhtml+xml. This reasoning is then applied
to XHTML served as text/html. This is logical and intellectually
honest if and only if XHTML_all equals XHTML_compatible.
I'll name the difference of XHTML_all and XHTML_compatible as
XHTML_incompatible. Lachlan gave examples that indicate that
XHTML_incompatible is not empty. Hence, XHTML_compatible is a proper
subset of XHTML_all.
Now if you wish to serve your documents as text/html, it follows that
you can't just happily do things that guarantee that your documents
are members of XHTML_all. Instead, you have to *make an effort* to
make sure that your documents fall into XHTML_compatible. The
equality of XHTML_all and XHTML_compatible is not true--it is
political obfuscation to hide an inconvenient truth. If your
documents fell into XHTML_incompatible, things would *break*, which
would be *bad*. This means that you lose any benefits that hinge on
you only having to ensure targeting XHTML_all.
If you are making the text/html compatibility effort, you might as
well adjust your effort to producing HTML5 instead of
XHTML_compatible, unless you specifically want to participate in
upholding a political appearance that doesn't match the technical
reality and in doing so confuse newbies into believing that the
political obfuscation is the truth (which leads them to waste time on
finding out the truth the hard way).
> If I am correct in my assessment then the best thing for all
> parties would
> to be make their *values* clear to each other.
My values involve acknowledging legacy realities, wanting ability to
use XML tools with conforming HTML5 documents after a lossless
conversion and eschewing political obfuscation of technical realities.
> 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.
What was sold to you was XHTML_all. Not that you you have to know how
to avoid XHTML_incompatible.
hsivonen at iki.fi
More information about the whatwg