Re: ATTN: Please comment on XHTML (before it's too late)
David Megginson wrote: > > I agree that there needs to be some sort of versioning available -- it > could be an html:version attribute (the best solution, I think), or > perhaps just the version of the DTD used in the DOCTYPE declaration > (much messier). Can you specify an algorithm for determining when you have a new version vs. a new language? I can: you have a new language when instances can break conforming software. Instances can break conforming software as soon as you add an element or broaden the definition of an attribute. > I think that Namespaces are the wrong tool to use for versioning, > because using them that way makes easy, typical jobs much harder, and > that's just bad design. You keep repeating that it makes your life so much harder but what would be so brutal about standardizing and recognizing an equivalence declaration? For HTML's simple idea of equivalence, it would be trivial. > Fortunately, XML isn't source code (or compiled code), so we don't > have the same problem We have exactly the same problem. Assumptions about the form of the input may cease to be valid when the input's version number shifts. Only the people making the new version (or documents conforming to the new version) know whether it is safe to treat the new documents as old ones. **You cannot write software today that is guaranteed to be compatible with HTML 6.** > -- I was using that example only to demonstrate > that once there's software deployed that recognizes a certain set of > XHTML Namespaces (preferably a set with one member), it will be very > difficult to introduce any new Namespaces. Not with an equivalence mechanism. > They already have the mechanism: if you see an unknown attribute, > ignore it; if you see an unknown element, ignore its start and end > tags and process the content. It's not elegant, but it's workable. That doesn't work. The introduction of APPLET allowed paragraphs within paragraphs. Is it so far fetched that this could crash a standards-conformant application? What's the point of being standards conformant if you can't rely on any of the rules that you programmed your application to use. This, to me, is the crux of the issue. We have a responsibility as standardizers to implementors. > That said, as I mentioned above, I agree that some sort of versioning > is needed -- the three-Namespace approach just seems equivalent to > amputating my leg to get rid of a wart. There is no amputation required. Yes we have some work to do in defining the equivalence mechanism -- but we always had that work ahead of us. Yes there is some effort required in implementing it -- but that effort was going to be required regardless. Paul Prescod xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1 To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; (un)subscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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