[whatwg] several messages about XML syntax and HTML5

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Dec 4 15:08:40 PST 2006

On Tue, 5 Dec 2006, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> On Dec 4, 2006, at 22:34, Ian Hickson wrote:
> > > The fact that my weblog and my planet are usefully viewable on Lynx is a
> > > counter example that is meaningful to me.
> > 
> > My point is that if you used HTML5 instead, you would have _more_ features
> > available to you, and at the same time, you would still be compatible with
> > Lynx. And with an HTML5 parser on the front, you'd still be compatible
> > with your XML pipeline.
> Sam's planet and blog use inline SVG and MathML.

...which don't work in IE. The number of authors who are willing to do 
things that don't work in IE is minute, and frankly, not representative of 
the average HTML5 author. It doesn't make sense to design the language 
around the needs of the exception.

It also doesn't work that well. I'd be interested to see what happened in 
IE if the SVG used the SVG 1.2 <textArea> feature. Or if it used the SVG 
<text> and <tSpan> features.

But not withstanding the SVG and MathML content, which isn't compatible 
with IE anyway (being ignored at best, and causing bad markup at worst), 
there are features that Sam can't use because of his constraints, which he 
could if he was using just HTML5. (Like document.write(), which is 
required for things like Google Analytics today, I believe.)

> There's a bug in the "just use HTML5 as text/html" party line here.

If you want to use SVG and MathML, then you should use XHTML5, and send it 
using an XML MIME type, and it won't work in browsers that don't support 
SVG and MathML. That's a problem with SVG and MathML, not HTML5. (In due 
course, we might introduce vector graphics and maths to HTML5, but that's 
a separate discussion, not necessarily related to XML.)

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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