Re: SGML, HTML and CS:email@example.com (Peter Flynn)
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 94 13:38:36 EDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter Flynn)
To: Multiple recipients of list <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: SGML, HTML and CS:
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
X-Comment: HTML Working Group (Private)
> Amen, brother. You're preaching to the choir. Now: break out your time
> machine, go back a few years and talk TimBL out of basing HTML on SGML
> (or maybe it was me that really made the connection between HTML and
> SGML -- but it was Tim's idea). Better yet, go back 10 or 15 years
> and teach the SGML committee about compiler technology and automated
No good. The problem is that SGML had to pass the ISO cttees to make
IS, so it's written in ISO-ese. Plus a lot of the groundwork done by
Charles G was done in the days of old IBM mainframe technology, which
is a maze of twisty little passages all alike, compared with "normal" :-)
Unix-based CS today, which is a maze of twisty little passages all
> Oh, my brother: would that you were wrong! After spending about two
> weeks reading the SGML standard, one realizes that SGML provides few
> features above and beyond lex/yacc. It is disheartening to realize that
> a technology that should represent one man-month to implement actually
> requires more like a man-year or two. There should have been a libSGML
> years ago that would, by now, be in /usr/lib on every machine on
> the planet.
Right. But I'd venture to say that the SGML spec is more robust than
one for lex or yacc (I've never seen a spec for either), which have an
unerring tendency to fall flat on their faces at critical times.
> I'm afraid the only way out at this point is lots of good documentation
> and support. The real damage is done. Arguments to the contrary
> are more than welcome.
On this point, I've signed with Van Nostrand Reinhold to do a book on
network publishing with WWW. I hope that this will complement the docs
that Dave is writing with A-W.