It’s just data

HTML5 in Gecko

Henri Sivonen: The effort of putting an HTML5 parser inside Gecko takes a step out of the vaporware land.

I can confirm that it displays this page, served as text/html as well as the same bytes served as application/xhtml+xml.  For comparison, Chrome does nearly as well, simply omitting the SVG images.  Opera doesn’t fare as well, apparently not recognizing the self-closing SVG tags.  IE 8’s support is simply sad, well beyond the lack of processing of SVG images.

I’ll also note that the HTML5 validator doesn’t yet accept SVG in content served as text/html.  Hopefully the SVG and WHATWG/HTML5 working groups can resolve their differences in 2009 and this can be fixed.

Henri’s approach is interesting.  He starts from a single source, in Java.  The Java code can be compiled to Java byte codes, JavaScript source, or C++ presumably making use of Mozilla libraries for things such as memory management.  If he can do that, it seems to me to be a rather small leap from there to producing C++ using, say, either Ruby or Python libraries for memory management, as well as a thin binding to the language.  C# would also be a reasonable target.

If this could be done, and made available under a liberal license, it could go a long way towards making available consistent and performant implementations of the HTML5 parser algorithm everywhere.