XHTML 1.0 Sent Back to HTML Working Group

November 3, 1999

Edd Dumbill

Tim Berners-Lee, the Director of the W3C, announced today that the XHTML 1.0 Proposed Recommendation is to be returned to the HTML working group for further revision. XHTML 1.0 is a reformulation of HTML 4 into XML: the first stage in bringing the rigor of XML into web pages.

The XHTML 1.0 specification attracted significant controversy within the XML community during its transition from last-call Working Draft to Proposed Recommendation (the final stage before Recommendation, after which no changes can be made).

The controversy, which raged for a long time in the XML developer's mailing list XML-dev, centered on the introduction of three separate XML namespaces for the three flavors of XHTML: 'strict', 'transitional' and 'frameset'.

Berners-Lee said that W3C Members wanted the HTML working group to revise the XHTML 1.0 specification to utilize a single namespace.

He also noted that some respondents during XHTML's review period considered the use of the media type 'text/xml' for XHTML 1.0 to be "premature". He then framed the obvious question prompted by this doubt: "If a document conforming to XML 1.0 and XML Namespaces is not to be considered 'text/xml', this raises an important issue as to what is".

No date has been set yet for further review, but the HTML working group is being asked to present a revised specification as soon as possible.

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