[whatwg] Allow trailing slash in always-empty HTML5 elements?

Anne van Kesteren annevk at opera.com
Thu Nov 30 00:52:54 PST 2006

On Thu, 30 Nov 2006 00:46:37 +0100, Sam Ruby <rubys at intertwingly.net>  
> I think that it is fair to assume that the majority of the people who
> (rightfully or incorrectly) assume that they are using XHTML use trailing
> slashes.

Has it actually been checked how many people use an XHTML doctype and  
forget to use the trailing slashes on one or more elements?

> It is fair to conclude that that 33% (i.e., 50-17) of those that (in this
> case incorrectly) assume that they are producing HTML use trailing  
> slashes. In Ian's terminology, these people are confused.

Same here: do those documents use them occasionally or throughout?

> The first question I think we can answer fairly conclusively: of those  
> 33%, how many will become "un-confused" if HTML5 does not permit trailing
> slashes?  Hint: the version of HTML they are currently using already  
> doesn't permit trailing slashes.

The current version of HTML actually does, because it is in part based on  
SGML (and at the same time isn't according to some people). The meaning of  
a trailing slash there is, however, very different. Of course,  
validator.w3.org (most widely used validator I reckon), doesn't really  
tell you that.

> Path 1: HTML5 permits two authoring syntaxes, and the question as to  
> whether or not trailing slashes are allowed is forever "it depends".
> I continue  to
> maintain that most people don't understand DOCTYPEs, and will point to  
> the 50% number above as being consistent with that contention.

It has to allow two authoring syntaxes. One HTML and one XML. I thought we  
were past that discussion?

> Path 2: HTML5 permits only one authoring syntax, and permits "XML-style"
> notation only to the extent that such syntax wouldn't be interpreted in a
> different manner by consumers that only understand HTML.  The  
> documentation
> for HTML5 would contain examples of such cases, and any conformance  
> checker would only point out such examples.

That only understand HTML??

> [...] For example, technically ' would fall on the wrong side the
> argument, but as I can see from the current draft of HTML5, the right
> decision was already made in that case.

The sole reason for that is that a couple of user agents support in HTML.

Anne van Kesteren

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