Trip Report: IETF meeting of HTML WG

Eric W. Sink (
Mon, 12 Dec 94 12:45:19 EST

I was at the IETF meeting only briefly. I attended the HTTP BOF on
Wednesday night, and the HTML WG session on Thursday morning. Actual
minutes of the session were taken by Tom Magliery (thanks Tom!), and will
be forthcoming.

Here is the brief summary I sent to the area director:

The WG discussed and made decisions on the five main outstanding issues
regarding the HTML 2.0 specification.  After outlining the small amount of
remaining editorial work, the group agreed to submit the resulting document
to the Erik Huizer, for submission to the IESG, to become a standards track
RFC.  The group then used remaining time to disucss future directions, and
possible issues for an HTML 2.1 specification.

My own recollections:

0. It was decided that all "decisions" made by the group were to be subject to comment from the people on the html-wg mailing list.

1. The group discussed the file upload proposal from Larry Masinter. After deciding that the proposal was clearly not appropriate for HTML 2.0, discussion of the details was deferred to futures.

2. A lengthy discussion of international issues took place. The group decided that a small modification to a couple of paragraphs in the spec would be sufficient, leaving further investigation of the issue to futures. See #3.

3. A very lengthy discussion of end-of-line terminators broke out. The essential disagreement lies in the fact that current practice and the guidelines for text/* MIME types disagree. After long discussion of this and item #2 intertwined, Tim Berners-Lee summarized our decisions on a slide. I will await the actual minutes for the wording of those decisions, to avoid my mistyping them. I do recall that any changes to the document were very minor.

4. With very little moaning, the group reaffirmed the decision to include the previously agreed upon ICADD modifications to the document.

5. It was suggested by more than one person that the IESG may not accept the document if it includes the DTD reference, as this could be considered 18 pages of essentially redundant (albeit useful) material. Someone pointed out that the pipeline toward RFC-ness currently has a shorter-documents-come-first bias. I pointed out that at some point, the accuracy of that section has been brought into question, but I wasn't 100% certain of its current status. The group decided that if the DTD reference is indeed algorithmically generated, and is complete and accurate, we should include it, as an appendix. Otherwise, it should be removed.

Eric W. Sink, Senior Software Engineer --
                                           I don't speak for Spyglass.
"Can I get a direct flight back to reality, or do I have to change planes
in Denver?" - The Santa Clause