standardising tagsoup

In his latest blog post, Reinventing HTML Tim Berners Lee announces the creation of a new html working group to work closer together with the people using html. It seems a little weird to create a new working group to help standardize current html practices. How long would it take for browser vendors to implement such a thing? There has to be more lurking behind this...

A new TAG thread called TagSoupIntegration-54 may provide an interesting clue as to what is happening behind the scenes. By standardizing tagsoup, the most widely deployed format on the web, all browsers could agree on how to translate tag soup into a correct xhtml DOM tree. By looking at how browsers actually interpret tag soup one can find out what the points of commonality are between browsers and work from there towards a standard. This would

  • vastly increase the amount of W3C compliant documents on the web
  • work with the intuition of actual developers - those in particular that find xml too difficult
  • create an easy transition from those practices to more standardized ones
Well formed xhtml would have the following advantages then:
  • It would be easier to read correctly
  • It would require less parsing to process, and so be faster to load
  • It would work better with other xml technologies, such as SVG, Xlinks, etc...

Well that's a thought that occurred to me. I am not so au fait with W3C politics, so I don't really know in what way the XHTML working groups have had trouble convincing the browser vendors to apply their standards. Is Firefox 2 or IE 7 not standards compliant? I need to check this out.

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