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From James A Sutherland <>
Subject Re: HTML3.2 -> HTML4.0
Date Wed, 29 Nov 2000 12:49:11 GMT
On Wed, 29 Nov 2000, you wrote:
> James A Sutherland wrote:
> > 
> > On Wed, 29 Nov 2000, you wrote:
> > > James A Sutherland wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Except the current contents of header.html aren't the header we
> > > > want, or structured in the way needed. Changing the contents of
> > > > header.html would break every page in docs ATM; putting the new
> > > > header in a new file allows for a gradual changeover.
> > >
> > > By the way, I'm +1 on this approach.
> > 
> > Great - now we just need to find someone to do it :-)
> > 
> > Personally, I'd rather go for XHTML1, unless there are any pressing reasons not
> > to; apart from lower-casing the tags, the changes needed are fairly trivial. I
> > looked at this briefly a few months ago, and apart from the changes in single
> > tags (<br> etc), everything the Validator complained about consisted of genuine
> > errors - wrongly escaped special characters etc.
> > 
> > Does anyone have any objections to XHTML1 over HTML4? The extra effort is
> > minimal, and won't break anything, but it does show up some other errors which
> > need fixing.
> I feel like I missed large parts of this conversation, what with a sick
> 2-year-old and cleaning up from having everyone here for Thanksgiving.
> Who knew it could take most of the weekend to get caught up on dishes?

Sorry to hear that - hope the 2yo is better now? I'm in the UK, so Thanksgiving
didn't show on the radar - now I'm spending Christmas in Texas. Hrm.

> Are you proposing that all the documentation be moved to XHTML, or just
> these header files? The former is a sizeable undertaking from two
> fronts. One, we're talking about a lot of docs to convert. Two, we're
> talking about educating every contributer to submit stuff in XHTML, when
> they are used to writing HTML. 

The changes required aren't huge; the only major thing is using lowercase for
tags. You need to put a trailing slash on single tags, too; apart from that,
it's no big deal.

> I can see that this conversation has gone on for a while, and I'll try
> to find time to go back and read the whole thing if I have a chance
> later today.

The original suggestion was to create a new header which contains a doctype tag
for HTML 4, to use instead of the old header which just adds the banner
graphic; Ken and I then spent a while arguing at cross purposes, before
realising we agreed on the correct solution. I suggested aiming for XHTML1
rather than HTML4 (Transitional) on the basis it's not much harder to comply
with. The main reason is just that Validator can then pick up quite a few
subtle errors, such as not escaping special characters properly; otherwise, it
takes very careful proof-reading to realise this.

Basically, going for XHTML isn't a huge undertaking, and allows us to get much
better automatic checking. It would also be nice to boast compliance with the
latest and greatest standards :-)


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