Re: Toward Graceful Deployment of Tables

Thu, 16 Mar 1995 00:12:28 +0800


| >future architecture. Inserting all kinds of garbage into the data
| ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| Unwarranted generalization.

I was talking about the principles you were espousing rather than the
specifics of your proposal. The proposal might even have some merit;
the principles you were enunciating do not.

| >stream on the principle that browsers should just ignore what they
| >can't handle is a bad idea on the face of it. Please imagine what
| >this argument would look like if translated to compiler design,
| >database design, or any other kind of computer processing that expects
| >structured input.
| Weak argument based on a weak analogy -- they don't translate.

They do if you understand what a structured document is and what it's
good for. Anyone who would say, "After all, (layout) tags are just
tags, it's the content that really matters" clearly does not
understand this. However, this is a tough point to grasp. I would
guess that the great majority of people coming into this for the first
time feel pretty much the way that you do, like student programmers
who don't see why "purists" insist that it's better to write
structured code. (You may not see the analogy, but those of us who
were around twenty years ago when inspired spaghetti code was the norm
remember that that was exactly the way that even the professional
programmers felt about it.) Certain kinds of constraints make sense
only when your projects reach a certain size. Until then, you don't
see the point, and it's hard for others to explain it to you.

Today I put 28,000 pages of material online, bringing the total I have
put on our Pubs Web server over the last few weeks to somewhere in the
neighborhood of 110,000 pages. This task, based on five years of
development, would have been quite impossible if the material had been
tagged according to the ideas you are promoting. Unfortunately, I
don't have the energy left to try to prove this to you. It will prove
itself when you engage in such projects and have to maintain them over
a period of time.

This probably won't strike you as a very good answer to the points
that you have raised, and I certainly won't blame you for persisting
in your present view. But perhaps you will forgive some of us if we
decline to adopt your "Duplication of Ignorable Tags".


Jon Bosak, Novell Corporate Publishing Services
2180 Fortune Drive, San Jose, CA 95131 Fax: 408 577 5020
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