Hixie's Natural Log

2002-06-13 21:59 UTC Buzz: Third shot disintegrates

Simon has replied to my response to his reply to my comments about the WaSP site:

"When CAN we start using XHTML?"

"When can we start using CSS1?" is an equally valid question which we've only just recently started to seeing the answer to. CSS1 came out in 1996, 6 years ago, and the most popular browser (WinIE) is only now starting to show an inkling of the start of the beginning of a hint of something that might be described as semi-solid support for CSS1. So let's assume it takes as long for us to be able to use XHTML: 6 years. XHTML came out in 2000. So that gives an estimated answer of: 2006.

Of course, the difference between CSS1 and XHTML is that you can't use parts of XHTML, it's an all (text/xml) or nothing (text/html) deal. So in practice it'll be longer, since you won't be able to use rely on backwards compatability tricks like with CSS1.

If by serving content with a text/html header I can create pages in future-proof, easily parsable XHTML and have them accessible to virtually every browser ever [released], XHTML it shall be. Then when browser support catches up I'll be ready, and so will my websites.

But you won't be ready. Your site doesn't validate. When you switch to sending your site as text/xml then boom, your readers will just get XML validation errors. In any case, there's no reason to switch legacy documents to new formats. Do you see anyone going out of their way to change old "HTML 3.2" documents (specifically, the tag soup mess that they claimed was HTML 3.2) to HTML 4.01 Strict? And do you think browsers are going to stop supporting text/html any time soon?

And Minh Nguyễn: thanks for agreeing with me but your Web site doesn't validate either.

XHTML is a good thing, on the long term. However, the bandwagon that everyone is jumping on is ridiculous.