[Standards-JIG] XHTML-IM Conclusions

Robert Norris rob at cataclysm.cx
Wed Sep 8 02:42:11 UTC 2004

On Fri, Sep 03, 2004 at 11:16:42AM +0100, Ian Paterson wrote:
> While it is true that as soon as we use an externally defined namespace we
> loose some control, IMHO the arguments for adopting CSS/XHTML are good ones:
> - Borrowing work from existing open standards is good when appropriate.
> - CSS is a very good, familiar and simple styling standard.
> - XHTML is a familiar way of binding CSS to text (it also offers a few
> useful extras - like links and inline images).
> - My proposed minimal subset of CSS/XHTML is almost as simple as any
> protocol we might design ourselves.
> - Many client developers are familiar with CSS/XHTML and have access to
> libraries that can render it.
> - CSS/XHTML may be used in future JEPs

I don't deny that XHTML/CSS can already do whatever we need. But, it
ties us to a single technology, which may not be suitable everywhere.
Both provide more than one way of doing things, which means we either
have to define a clear subset (possibly robbing it of some of its
flexibility) or place large requirements on the clients.

I've been swayed by the arguments that XHTML is meant for defining
structure, not style. Is XHTML even required? If CSS was to be used, can
we not simply apply it directly to our own spanning elements?

Embedding images and links feels like it might be outside scope. Images
require some sort of file transfer, making things even more complex.
Links aren't style, and assume that such a thing makes sense in the
context of a client.

I'm not sure what to think about the whole thing. I'm not really decided
one way or the other. XHTML/CSS does seem too heavy for what we need


Robert Norris                                       GPG: 1024D/FC18E6C2
Email+Jabber: rob at cataclysm.cx                Web: http://cataclysm.cx/
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