[whatwg] Client-side includes proposal

Elliotte Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Tue Aug 19 05:55:48 PDT 2008

Ian Hickson wrote:

> Server-based offline Web apps are applications that are served by a remote 
> server and then cached locally; this is very different from non-Web cases 
> such as documentation on a local filesystem or on CD-ROMs. In the case of 
> non-Web content, the use of HTML is an academic point, since any format 
> would work as well. 

Really? Why? and how? That's certainly not self-evident.

Aside from embedded links, which can point into the file system and are 
usually relative anyway, there's very little web-specific about HTML. 
It's just one format that can be served over HTTP or read from a disk, 
just like PDF or text/plain or OpenDocument.

HTML has some nice characteristics like resolution independence, direct 
editability as text, and automatic reflow; but these are in no way 
limited to network transfers. For many use cases, especially 
cross-platform ones, HTML is the formatted text format of choice.

A properly designed HTML spec should not require, prohibit, or 
preference  a document being read from the network or from a local file 
system or via any other protocol. HTML 1 through 4 and XHTML 1 and 2 had 
this important characteristic. I hope HTML 5 does as well.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Refactoring HTML Just Published!

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