Talk:Structured Text Interchange Format
STIF seems to be another in the rather long line of attempts at a wiki interchange format. I've been advocating an XHTML-based format for a number of years now, so if STIF takes off I'd be happy to support it. As editor of the modular XHTML DTDs I'm willing to create an XHTML-based DTD for STIF as I have a number of DTDs from past work that are very similar — XHTML Basic is already quite close.
I do think that if the STIF specification is going to use existing terminology and technology, it should use it correctly. The idea that one could use any of about a dozen different public identifiers for STIF documents is plainly not viable, especially when several of the provided list are not even XML-based (e.g., HTML 4 is SGML-based and HTML 5 doesn't seem to use a schema at all).
The DOCTYPE declaration is a contract stating the actual DTD to which a document conforms. Use of the term "valid" in SGML and XML has a defined meaning that seems in conflict with the text of the current STIF specification. I think it a good idea that STIF documents be valid according to a schema (and DTDs are fine for that), but they must therefore be labeled accordingly. Providing a STIF DTD and using an appropriate public identifier provides the guarantee that STIF documents can be reliably interchanged. Using the public identifier of an HTML or XHTML (non-STIF) DTD indicates that the document is not STIF, so processors would be correct in refusing those documents (unless they actually were capable of importing them).
As HTML 5 is actually a superset of HTML 4/XHTML 1.0, it includes even more features than are (a) supported by current web browsers, and (b) would be appropriate to a wiki interchange format. Perhaps someone may be willing to write an XSLT stylesheet to transform HTML 5 to an intermediate format, or directly to STIF; I expect this would be a lossy transformation.
If someone is interested in me producing a STIF DTD please contact me at murray09 (at) altheim.com. I'd need a bit more detail than is currently provided by the STIF wiki page, but not much more. Also, who is the contact lead on this project?
Thanks, Murray Altheim