[whatwg] The problems with namespaces in text/html (Was: MathML-in-HTML5)

Elliotte Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Sun Nov 5 04:58:59 PST 2006

Lachlan Hunt wrote:

> Why is the specific syntax so important?  If, in HTML (not XHTML), 
> <math> is defined to be interpreted as the math element in the MathML 
> namespace, what difference does the syntax make in the end?  All HTML 
> elements are already defined to be in the XHTML namespace without any 
> xmlns in the syntax, so how is that any different?

The specific syntax is important because there's a huge, useful 
toolchain for processing XML and there's essentially zilch for 
processing this strange HTML 5 thing.

If there ever is any software to process it, I expect it will just be an 
adapter that feeds the HTML 5 into the XML tools. Why not ditch the HTML 
5 layer completely and simply allow the XML tools direct access?

Remember, even HTML 4 is too complex for a lot of authors. More and more 
  publishers are using CMSs and Wikis and markdown and Dreamweaver and 
similar tools. Dinosaur techies like me still editing this junk by hand 
can handle namespace prefixes, empty-element tags, and even MathML. 
(Well, maybe not raw MathML but I try.) Who, exactly is this HTML 
serialization supposed to help?

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!

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