IBM doctype?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Sean Jorden, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. Sean Jorden

    Sean Jorden Guest

    Noticed IBM's site has this doctype:

    <!DOCTYPE html SYSTEM "http://www.ibm.com/data/dtd/v11/ibmxhtml1-
    transitional.dtd">

    Are they trying to make their own web standards or something? Will browsers
    actually read this DTD?
    Sean Jorden, Sep 7, 2003
    #1
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  2. Sean Jorden wrote:

    > <!DOCTYPE html SYSTEM "http://www.ibm.com/data/dtd/v11/ibmxhtml1-
    > transitional.dtd">
    >
    > Are they trying to make their own web standards or something? Will browsers
    > actually read this DTD?


    Well, there is nothing to stop anyone making up their own doctypes.

    e.g.
    http://www.foad.org/~abigail/abigail.dtd
    http://www.w3.org/Style/HTML40-plus-blink.dtd

    You will notice that these DTDs tend to restrict themselves only to what
    browsers can already do.

    For instance, they don't try to introduce some element '<POTATOPICTURE>'
    to insert a picture of a potato, because they know that no browsers will
    recognise it.

    On the other hand, they might add the '<BLINK>' element, because browsers
    tend to already understand that.

    Why do this?

    Well, if you use '<BLINK>Important</BLINK>' in an HTML 4.0 document, you
    will soon find yourself with an invalid document, because HTML 4.0 doesn't
    have any element '<BLINK>'. However, if you change your DOCTYPE to the
    W3C's HTML40-plus-blink.dtd, then '<BLINK>' is allowed, but your page is
    still valid. (It's not valid HTML 4.0, but it's valid something!)

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS | mailto: | pgp:0x6A2A7D39
    aim:inka80 | icq:6622880 | yahoo:tobyink | jabber:
    http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/ | "You've got spam!"
    playing://(nothing)
    Toby A Inkster, Sep 7, 2003
    #2
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  3. Toby A Inkster wrote:

    > Well, if you use '<BLINK>Important</BLINK>' in an HTML 4.0 document, you
    > will soon find yourself with an invalid document, because HTML 4.0 doesn't
    > have any element '<BLINK>'. However, if you change your DOCTYPE to the
    > W3C's HTML40-plus-blink.dtd, then '<BLINK>' is allowed, but your page is
    > still valid. (It's not valid HTML 4.0, but it's valid something!)


    I've never understood that. Why is being valid so important if you
    aren't validating against real standards?
    Leif K-Brooks, Sep 7, 2003
    #3
  4. Leif K-Brooks <> wrote:

    > Why is being valid so important if you
    > aren't validating against real standards?


    Being valid, in the SGML sense, means correspondence between the actual
    markup and a formalized description of markup syntax. This was relevant
    years before HTML, or the Web, was invented. In fact, it is far less
    useful for HTML documents than one might expect, since hardly any browser
    actually implements HTML as an SGML application.

    By the way, there is only one real standard (an ISO standard) for HTML,
    and (virtually) nobody uses it.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
    Jukka K. Korpela, Sep 7, 2003
    #4
  5. Leif K-Brooks wrote:
    > Toby A Inkster wrote:
    >
    >> Well, if you use '<BLINK>Important</BLINK>' in an HTML 4.0
    >> document, you will soon find yourself with an invalid document,
    >> because HTML 4.0 doesn't have any element '<BLINK>'. However, if
    >> you change your DOCTYPE to the W3C's HTML40-plus-blink.dtd, then
    >> '<BLINK>' is allowed, but your page is still valid. (It's not
    >> valid HTML 4.0, but it's valid something!)

    >
    > I've never understood that. Why is being valid so important if you
    > aren't validating against real standards?


    Maybe you're validating to something more strict than the usual DTD
    (e.g., maybe your DTD requires closing tags that are optional in the
    "standard" DTD). Or maybe you've decided for your purposes that use of
    a deprecated or non-standard element is acceptable, and you want to
    silence that particular warning.

    The latter is no better or worse than, say, ignoring a C-compiler
    warning, or writing using sloppier-than-schoolbook grammar. While in
    general neither one is an especially good idea, if you know what
    you're doing there are situations where it's acceptable.

    If you don't know what you're doing, then you've got bigger problems
    than the validator or compiler can fix, though your grammar teacher
    might give it a shot... ;-)

    --
    Joel.
    Joel Shepherd, Sep 7, 2003
    #5
  6. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

    > By the way, there is only one real standard (an ISO standard) for HTML,
    > and (virtually) nobody uses it.


    Some things have been standardised by ISO, some by ECMA, some by ANSI. So
    what? Just because something has "ISO" stamped on it, doesn't make it any
    more standard than a W3C standard.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me - http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/?id=132
    playing://oasis/whats_the_story_morning_glory/02_roll_with_it.ogg
    Toby A Inkster, Sep 7, 2003
    #6
  7. Sean Jorden

    Dylan Parry Guest

    Toby A Inkster wrote:

    > Just because something has "ISO" stamped on it, doesn't make it any
    > more standard than a W3C standard.


    The W3C does not publish standards, it publishes "recommendations".

    --
    Dylan Parry - http://www.DylanParry.com

    Now playing: Vaughan Williams, Serenade to Music from Fantasia
    on Greensleeves
    Dylan Parry, Sep 7, 2003
    #7
  8. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > The word "real" was relevant here. As long as you use the word "standard"
    > informally, you can use it rather sloppily and call everyone's and his
    > dog's specification, or even a mere industry practice, a "standard".
    > But when you slap the word "real" in front of it, it is fair to require
    > that you be able to specify the ISO, IEC, or ITU number, or at least the
    > number of a national standard as issued by a national authorized standards
    > body, such as ANSI. (In the Internet context, you might get away with it
    > if you can specify the STD number assigned by the IESG, but those few
    > "Internet standards" are not really real standards - not issued by an
    > international standards body authorized by national members that have as
    > official a status in their countries as any body can, depending on
    > national situation.)


    And what makes a country a country? I can call my house a country if I
    want to. All that makes a country real is force. Do we really need guns
    and bombs to create web standards now?
    Leif K-Brooks, Sep 8, 2003
    #8
  9. "Jukka K. Korpela" schrieb:
    >
    > Leif K-Brooks <> wrote:
    >
    > > And what makes a country a country? I can call my house a
    > > country if I want to.

    >
    > Surely. And you can call a piece of bread an HTML program,


    Jukka, I would like a slice of whole wheat HTML bread with my tag soup,
    please :).


    Matthias
    Matthias Gutfeldt, Sep 8, 2003
    #9
  10. On Mon, 08 Sep 2003 23:04:07 +0200, Matthias Gutfeldt <>
    wrote:

    >"Jukka K. Korpela" schrieb:
    >>
    >> Leif K-Brooks <> wrote:
    >>
    >> > And what makes a country a country? I can call my house a
    >> > country if I want to.

    >>
    >> Surely. And you can call a piece of bread an HTML program,

    >




    >Jukka, I would like a slice of whole wheat HTML bread with my tag soup,
    >please :).


    I've always thought that "tag soup" was a German-English pidgin word
    for "soup of the day." ;-)

    Nick

    --
    Nick Theodorakis
    Nick Theodorakis, Sep 9, 2003
    #10
  11. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

    > Surely. And you can call a piece of bread an HTML program, or pointless
    > play with words an argument. I would appreciate if you did not do that
    > here, and, as the second best option, if you continued using a forged From
    > field as long as you just babble. TIA.


    Then explain why Canada or Britian is more of a country than what I
    decide to call a country. The only real answer is the number of people
    who recognize it as such, which makes sense.

    By the same logic, a web standard is determined by how many people
    recognize it as such. Even if no country or international body
    recognizes W3C standards, they are loosely used by 99.9% of web authors
    and browsers.
    Leif K-Brooks, Sep 9, 2003
    #11
  12. Leif K-Brooks <> writes:

    > By the same logic, a web standard is determined by how many people
    > recognize it as such.


    By the same logic, that's how M$ Internet Exploder became the only
    relevant standard on the web, and the rest obscurity for its own sake.

    > Even if no country or international body
    > recognizes W3C standards, they are loosely used by 99.9% of web
    > authors and browsers.


    You have a serious typo there.

    s/used by/unknown or irrelevant to/

    Short of a couple of weblogs, nobody takes W3C prose serious, apparently
    not even its members. Maybe because of the tradition of keeping the
    nose close to the ground, following the trail of the big Redmond dog,
    and wagging with the tail when they encounter its warm and steamy
    droppings.


    --
    "XHTML is by far the silliest puff of hothouse XMLing-for-its-own-sake
    to have wafted out of the W3C."
    --Arjun Ray
    Eric B. Bednarz, Sep 9, 2003
    #12
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