[whatwg] Allow trailing slash in always-empty HTML5 elements?
jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Wed Nov 29 14:18:44 PST 2006
Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Nov 2006, Leons Petrazickis wrote:
>> This rigmarole is going to repeat on every site that has converted to
>> XHTML sent as text/html. People are emotionally invested in the idea of
>> trailing slashes. Websites have complex codebases, and going through
>> them removing trailing slashes on singleton elements would be very hard.
> If people want to make HTML5 syntactically compatible with XHTML1, such
> that XHTML1 documents don't cause syntax errors in HTML5, we'll have to do
> a whole lot more than just allowing trailing /s. I don't really see why
> that would be a goal, though. Going further, if we want to make documents
> in general compliant with HTML5, then we've got our work cut out for us --
> at least 78% of documents are syntactically incorrect today (not counting
> things like trailing /s in attributes, or missing DOCTYPEs -- if you
> include those, the number is more like 93%).
I tentatively support the idea that trailing slashes on "singleton"
elements should not be a parse error. I don't think it has any actual
technical merit but I think it will be helpful in getting developer
mindshare; a lot of people have drunk the "Zeldman Koolaid" and have the
ideas of XHTML, clean markup, CSS, and conformance to standards in
general all mushed together in their brain. For these people (who I
think represent the upper quartile of web developers in terms of
commitment to good markup) the trailing slash in empty elements is the
syntax of a new generation - it is a symbol that represents everything
that has changed in web design since 1996 - as intrinsically useless as
a fashionable designer label but just as seductive.
 I find that name quite confusing as it suggests there should only be
one in the entire document.
 c.f. the "code is poetry" comment in the Wordpress bug report
despite the fact that most here would argue HTML 4 as text/html is
considerably more poetic than XHTML as text/html.
"The universe doesn't care what you believe. The wonderful thing about
science is that it doesn't ask for your faith, it just asks for your
eyes" --- http://xkcd.com/c154.html
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