Make --html4tags the default?

John Gruber gruber at
Wed May 2 21:34:38 EDT 2007

Allan Odgaard <29mtuz102 at> wrote on 5/2/07 at 11:24 PM:

> Seeing how no-one should send application/xhtml+xml to the browser [1], and

> development of the HTML standard is again happening [2], it would make sense

> to have default to HTML tags.

Funny, I was thinking just the opposite: that because the HTML5
spec has been updated to allow XHTML-style empty tags like
`<this />`, that Markdown's --html4tags option could be
deprecated and Markdown could just send XHTML-style tags all the

I've converted most of DF to HTML5. I send my pages as
text/html, I use XHTML-style empty tags, it should validate
according to the current HTML5 draft spec, and it all works just
fine in every browser I'm aware of.

Put another way: If you use XHTML-style empty tags, Markdown's
output works both in strict XML parsers [^1] and in tag soup
HTML parsers. If you use HTML-style empty tags, Markdown's
output will not work at all in an XML parser.

The reason this works is that while real-world tag soup HTML
parsers have no idea that the HTML5 spec has been updated to say
`<this />` is now OK, it "just works" because they all just
ignore the `/` as a bogus attribute anyway.


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