Re: HTML3 body tag

Dan Connolly (
Wed, 8 Mar 1995 14:57:44 +0500

Gavin Nicol writes:
> >More accurately, the parser could parse the SYSTEM value in the
> >ENTITY declaration, but not the HREF value. Given that we
> >have accepted that limitation for <A> and <LINK>, I don't see
> >this as a strong argument. Are you suggesting that <A> and <LINK>
> >syntax must be changed?
> Well, <A> and <LINK> in effect cause a new document to be retrieved,
> whereas <INCLUDE> is just loading in text (unless I am totally
> mistaken). By using entities, the standard SGML mechanisms can be
> used, and one can validate the document in the normal SGML manner
> (using the entity manager mechanism feeding the parser), whereas
> <INCLUDE> forces some parsing dependencies into the entity manager
> (this is kind of like requiring a parser to understand PI's). Using
> <INCLUDE> will make it harder to use standard SGML tools...

Keep in mind the distributed computing issues: caching, round trip times...
Integrating a full-fledged SGML entity manager with the web I/R protocols
might be a good idea, but I have thought about it a lot and so far
failed to come up with a strategy that I'm happy with.

The <a> element was conceived to cover all these cases.
(The only thing I'd change is to allow a <as id=x1>...<ae id=x1> pair
as an alternative to <a>...</a> for cases where anchors overlap

This <include> stuff reminds me of the original <img> thread:

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 93 14:04:55 +0100
From: Tim Berners-Lee <>
Message-id: <>
To: (Marc Andreessen)
Subject: Re: proposed new tag: IMG

I had imagined that figues would be reprented as

<a name=fig1 href="fghjkdfghj" REL="EMBED, PRESENT">Figure </a>

where the relation ship values mean

EMBED Embed this here when presenting it
PRESENT Present this whenever the source document
is presented

Note that you can have various combinations of these, and if
the browser doesn't support either one, it doesn't break.

A see that using this as a method for selectable icons means nesting
anchors. Hmmm. But I hadn't wanted a special tag.
Annother way would be to declare an entity with SYSTEM attribute
giving the URL and then invoke that entity, but that would mean an
extendable entity dictionary which is not currently needed.