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

Lachlan Hunt lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au
Sun Nov 5 06:01:59 PST 2006

Elliotte Harold wrote:
> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>> Why is the specific syntax so important?
> 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.

In the real world, you cannot expect to be be able to process content 
served as text/html using XML tools.  That's like trying to compile Java 
with a C++ compiler.  Despite the similarities in syntax, they are 
different languages that require different parsers.

> Why not ditch the HTML 5 layer completely and simply allow the XML tools 
> direct access?

Because we have to remain compatible with the web, where there are an 
infinite number of existing documents that browsers must be able to 
handle interoperably.

> Who, exactly is this HTML serialization supposed to help?

Anyone for whom interoperability in processing real world content is 
important.  This includes, among others:

* Browser vendors that have to deal with real world content.
* CMS, editor, and other tool vendors that have to accept HTML input 
from users.
* Authors that have to develop for the real world.
* Users who like to surf the web in any browser they choose.

Lachlan Hunt

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