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When xhtml came to replace html4 it was such a huge relief for all OCD developers, and I thought I had seen the last non-xml compliant web page. Now I'm encouraged to write tag soup again because void elements? Humbug.

How does 'Tag soup' follow from 'let's not force pedantic XML parsing rules on people'?

HTML5 parsing is clearly defined and in most cases quite sensible. I think it was an excellent compromise.

It's the html5 standard that is complex and pedantic, it breaks silently when you violate one of hundreds of rules (e.g lists of void elements that can't be closed).

XML is simple. Sure it's pedantic in the sense that it breaks, but html5 breaks too only subtly.

It's like the difference between java and JavaScript. Java isn't more "pedantic" than JS in ANY way, it just breaks in a more understandable way (break loudly, early and understandably is in my view "better").

You say pedantic, while others might say simple, easy to remember, easy to error check and impossible to get wrong.

Which probably goes to show that most developers are not afflicted with OCD but would rather have a more lenient spec. After all, XHTML2, which is even more strict, sold like hot cakes...

Don't confuse the term lenient to mean "pedantic but with very silent failures". The failures caused by forgetting to close tags in html5 are often catastrophic, which is why it isn't "lenient".

If html5 fails on some seemingly valid input (e.g. makes a strange layout when you self-close a div-tag) then it isn't lenient, it's still pedantic. It's just as pedantic as an xml standard is about closing tags, only that the specification for closing tags is dozens of pages instead of three words.

In fact, I think most developers agree that an error message would be preferable to a corrupt layout in the case of the self-cosed div.

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