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From James A Sutherland <ja...@cam.ac.uk>
Subject Re: HTML3.2 -> HTML4.0
Date Wed, 29 Nov 2000 16:50:18 GMT
On Wed, 29 Nov 2000, you wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Nov 2000, James A Sutherland wrote:
> > 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 have considered this issue.  It could be done relatively painlessly
> through the use of htmltidy, which also has the advantage of fixing up
> small coding mistakes.  However, I see two major issues:
> 
> 1. Once this is done, there is absolutely no way to make one patch that
> will apply against both the httpd-docs-1.3 tree and the httpd-docs-2.0
> tree.  Every change would need to be written twice.  However, the trees
> are diverging at a quick enough pace right now, that this won't be
> a real issue for long.

Agreed. Backporting the update would be the alternative; having said that, is
it worth the effort? How many patches will really be relevant to both trees
anyway?

> 2. As Rich mentioned, this increases the barrier to entry.  XHTML does
> not appear to be any harder than HTML in general, but it is less
> forgiving.  We may be restricting even further the number of people
> willing to work on docs.

I'm not sure that'll be an issue; at worst, we'll get people saying "I've
changed foo, and now Validator says it's wrong!" at which point one of us who
can do XHTML can explain what they've missed. We don't need every patch to
create perfect XHTML, as long as we know when it gets broken and can fix it
again.

> Having said that, if someone feels like they want to take this on as a
> project, I would have no objections.  However, it is not something that I
> am going to put high on my priority list, when there are so many
> content-related things which still need to be done.

OK. Since I made a start on this a while ago, I'll volunteer to make a start -
I don't have commit access, though, so who wants to handle the patches? Or can
I get commit access on docs? Just lowercasing the tags will generate a huge
flood of trivial but enormous patches; e-mailling them to apache-docs would
probably put a price on my head :-)

> It is a significant enough change, that I would probably run it by
> new-httpd before making any decisions.  We need to make sure that it would
> not pose a barrier to any of the developers when it comes to documenting
> their work.

Agreed; do you want to propose it, or shall I? (If any developers do have
problems with XHTML, I would be willing to XHTMLify their docs; I doubt this
will be an issue for many of them, though.)


James.

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