Prescriptive vs 'Obsolete' (Stan Newton)
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 08:32:41 EDT
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From: (Stan Newton)
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Subject: Prescriptive vs 'Obsolete'
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Dear Dan,

Your reply to my inquiry about the meaning of Prescriptive got me to 
thinking. Since I am working on authoring tools, I am very concerned about 
'the spec I should author to - that is - comply with when authoring'. The 
working group obviously has great concerns about validating the HTML that is 
already out there which produces quite a conflict.

As part of the authoring package, I had planned to replace 'Obsolete' 
elements with their successor Elements and to enforce the 2.0 rules on newly 
created documents. To me, this means that there is still a place for 
Prescriptive tag definitions in the broader sense of "this is the way I 
think it ought to be coded". If I don't author to the higher ground when 
adding to the existing document base, how does the standard advance?

All this leads to my position that:

1. I like Prescriptive because it sets a higher standard for new documents.
        (and for upgraded documents), providing a way to differentiate
         between existing and preferred tagging.
2. I like Obsolete categories for tags because
        a. I know these tags exist so I can be prepared to handle them.
        b. I won't generate new or upgraded documents containing these tags.

I hope this doesn't re-open issues that have been resolved. It seems to me 
to provide a way to encapsulate the present while pointing toward the future.
Stan Newton
Newton Computing Solutions