Important changes for XHTML 2.0

Jonty

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 22, 2003
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If that was true (April Fools Day aside) then it would be another bold move on the W3C's part, and it would be interesting to see what <div>s and such got replaced with. The W3C has a lot of 'real-world' players from Microsoft, Opera, Mozilla/Netscape et al. so it would be interesting to see how any tensions between starting afresh and real-world usage pan out. We of course needs tables and some way of structuring documents, but suggestions had been made to radically change a variety of things before this joking article.

Personally, I'm happy for XHTML 2 not to be backwards compatible. (X)HTML is quite a mess and a line really needs to be drawn in the sand and a logical, cohesive starting point set-out as a foundation for future development. Chances are XHTML 2 would never receive browser support for years, and even then only by demand for designers and the industry (like native SVG support being incrementally introduced).

I guess we'll have to wait and see :) Who knows, maybe we won't even be using browsers to the extent we do today by the time XHTML 2 gets its act together :)

Kind Regards
 

JingleBells

FH is my second home
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Mar 25, 2004
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Well, as a bloke at work put it, we could be surfing the net on microwaves, or toasters soon.

I've been busy trying to get my site to XHTML 1.1, but atm most of the javascript in the downloads section is designed around form elements having a name not an id, and for some strange reason (which I've not really looked into) the background colour doesn't appear :( I'm also going to get the site to actually be served as application/xhtml+xml rather than text/html to those browsers that like it. I've been following these instructions to do that, and using a custom doctype to add the target module (I know you shouldn't have multiple windows, but I prefer to have external sites loading in a new window)
 

Jonty

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 22, 2003
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1,411
Hi JingleBells

Good luck with the site changes :) With regards the Javascript, check out Scott Andrew LePara's Scripting for the 6.0 Browsers. As the name suggests, the article is a little old and no longer publicly supported (he focuses more on his music now) but it really helped me get to grips with the document object model and helped me change exisiting (and create new) scripts.

As for application/xhtml+xml, do make sure it downgrades, hehe. The problem presently is two fold. Firstly, IE6 doesn't support application/xhtml+xml. I know this shouldn't put us off trying, but downgradability is needed. Secondly, those which do support pages being served in this way often won't render the page if the document isn't well formed (admittedly being well-formed is easier than validating outright). Still, good luck with it, the more people 'convert' the better support will become in browsers and such.

As for browsing the web, if Microsoft has their way, Longhorn will allow for a great deal of information services seemlessly integrated directly into applications (a bit like using RSS for news feeds instead of going direct to the webpage). I guess we'll have to wait and see (what's new? :))

Kind Regards

Jonty
 

Shovel

Part of the furniture
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Dec 22, 2003
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I'm really not sure how accurate that linked report is. The W3C working groups operate in a fairly open manner, there is very little "insider information" to be had. The XHTML2 specification is not a huge big secret waiting to be sprung on you. You can read the a public draft, if you so desire (http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/ - <div> is notably present).

Second, I'm a regular on the W3C CSS mailing list where CSS Level 3 is order of the day. At no point in the last 6 months has any kind of "banning hacks" been mentioned. Sure, this mailing list is not quite the same as the CSS working group itself, but it serves as a primary resource for the WG (the members of which contribute).

Far from "banning" browser hacks, we're currently discussing and refining ways in which the CSS syntax could be extended to reduce our depence on them in the future, whilst still allowing authors to embrace new CSS technology as and when it comes.

As for XHTML 2.0. It is indeed a complete clean up, however last I heard <div /> and <span /> were not being removed (see the draft, if you wish). Both elements serve a purpose in extended the language - take a look at any of the increasing breeds of MicroFormats which make use of these two non-semantic elements. Longer term, MicroFormats will probably be replaced by using additional XML namespaces in documents, but there is demand for their continued existance since they can add value to elements of your content for which an XHTML tag does not exist (consider marking up a day, "Sunday", wrap that with a <span /> and set the title attribute to the full date, thus ensuring that a reader has a point of reference for what you've written).

XHTML 2.0 does offer an alternative to <div /> which will probably replace a lot of <div /> usage, that being the semantic <section /> element. However, there is still the need to break up a page into parts which do not necessarilly hold any semantic value. Seriously, <div /> wont be going away.

<section />, by the way, is to be used with the wonderfully tidied up <h /> element (which replaces h1 thru h6). Heading levels are to be determined by the level of nesting within a <section /> tag, not through an inflexible <h#> tag.

Code:
<html ...>
<body> <!-- body is implicitly the first section -->
  <h>Heading 1</h>
  <p>Intro</p>
  <section> <!-- first subsection -->
    <h>Heading Level 2</h>
    <p>Blah Blah Blah</p>
  </section>
  <section> <!-- second subsection -->
    <h>Another Heading Level 2</h>
    <p>Blah Blah Blah</p>
  </section>
</body>
</html>
There's some outstandingly good work going into both XHTML2 and CSS3. X2 does offer big improvements to using HTML semantically (which is currently quite limited). The capabilities of CSS3 are increible.

Of course, I wouldn't worry about XHTML2 much, yet. Internet Explorer 6 will throw a fit if you pass anything XHTML2 based near it and the Trident rendering engine has no mechanism for rendering unknown tags (compared to Mozilla Gecko, which just needs a new stylesheet adding and it can immediately render any XML tag you like). As such, XHTML2 is only going to be ready for a production environment when the world has switched a version of IE that supports it. Not IE7. Probably not IE8.

There is, in fact, a big risk that the entire XHTML2 specification could be a failure and not adopted in practice at all if browser support doesn't arrive quick enough.

CSS3, of course, is still to be written into most browsers at large (parts are in Opera and Mozilla, but only those which are presumed "final", which isn't much yet).

Hope that clears some stuff up though. Apologies for no links, Google can tell you what a MicroFormat is, and where to find the W3C mailing list archives.
 

Jonty

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 22, 2003
Messages
1,411
Good posts, Ben, you're putting the rest of us to shame :) It was an April fools, but who knows with XHTML 2, hehe.

Kind Regards

Jonty

P.S. That latter link about the differences is very useful :)
 

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