[Haskell-cafe] ANNOUNCE: Haddock version 2.8.0

Mark Lentczner markl at glyphic.com
Fri Sep 3 00:14:08 EDT 2010

I am well aware of the differences between HTML and XHTML.

I choose to switch Haddock's output from HTML to XHTML mostly because I have found the consistency of rendering cross-browser to be greater and easier to achieve with XHTML. I'm not alone in this opinion: Many well respected web design authorities have promoted, and publish their own sites, in XHTML.[1] Even Microsoft's own developer web site uses it[2]!

Indeed, there is just one kind of validation error in the pages: the ids for section headings within a page are pure numbers and need an alphabetic prefix. That said, they work just fine in all browsers. I did fix the very bad validation problems with other ids (those that link to specific program symbols), and several other classes of ids. I will push my fix for the remaining ids and it will appear in the next release.[3,4]

As for extensions and doctypes, I believe that we are following best practices for the most interoperable result among browsers, and given that we need to produce output that will be served in a variety of ways including different web servers, and being browsed directly off the file system.[5]

Of course, as soon as it is viable, I would love to move Haddock's output to HTML 5. However, given the pace of adoption of such standards, and the range, age and mix of browsers that readers of Haddock's output use, it is likely to be two years off.

	- Mark

[1] See, for example:

	all of which are published as XHTML

[2] See: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx

[3] Considerable thought was put into both making identifiers validating, while maximizing browser interoperability and forward/backward compatibility. See:

[4] Given that the prior Haddock produced pages with much more significant validation errors and they didn't seem to cause issues, I don't think we should rush a point fix just for this change.

[5] I can't find any evidence for your assertion that Internet Explorer doesn't support XHTML, or the way Haddock names the files (and hence URLs). 

Mark Lentczner
IRC: mtnviewmark

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