At 02:52 PM 5/9/2006, Joshua Hutchinson wrote:
>The problem with playing "tricks" with markup like <div>'s for 
>paragraphs is backwards compatibility.  For instance, as archaic as 
>it sounds, we still get a fair amount of people looking at Gutenberg 
>stuff through Lynx (a text based web browser).  It chokes real fast 
>on some of the most esoteric stuff, so we try to make sure that the 
>basic layout sticks to standard HTML.  The newer/more advanced 
>browsers might give a better reading experience, but Lynx will still 
>get the job done.

This is exactly right, and why I'd be the first to try to dissuade 
anyone from dumping the standard without clarifying exactly what 
browsers and tools you will then allow for and test on.

Having the standard doesn't rescue us from this morass, but it does 
allow us to build around it by saying "if your tools handle X, then 
we're good". The standard is, in effect, the specification of an 
interface. It may not be a complete or sufficient specification, if 
we have to go out and meet Lynx and the latter doesn't handle divs 
gracefully. But it helps get us there.

History shows that one person's "archaic" is another person's 
"indispensable". Joshua's example shows why formal validation should 
be regarded as a means to an end rather than as an end in itself.

This is why I doubt there's a one-size-fits-all solution to the 
question "What kind of HTML should I make?"


Wendell Piez                            mailto:[log in to unmask]
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