Re: Enhancements for HTML 2.1

lilley (
Mon, 20 Mar 1995 12:01:11 +0000 (GMT)

Albert Lunde writes:

> I took a look at the ERCS (Extended Reference Concrete Syntax) page
> he posted, and it looks promising as a way to write SGML declarations
> for larger character sets. On the other hand it looks like
> ERCS is itself in draft status. It might make sense, if the
> working group agrees with the concept of using ERCS to support
> HTML over Unicode (and other character sets sufficently unlike
> Latin-1 that are subsets of Unicode), to try and put hooks for
> it in the main standard but write it up as another internet-draft/RFC.
> We've already got some of this, I'd guess a big issue is how the
> group feels about different SGML stuff for other character sets.

I am glad to see that there is still interest in making the World Wide
Web really World Wide.

Whenever someone posts a new proposal for handling non-Latin-1 character
sets, my main concern is that the practical implementation of this idea
would not force large sections of the non-(USA and W Europe) population
to do things in a radically different way to what they have now.

As I said last October


> Put youself in other's shoes - how would you feel if the Web technology
> was all Japanese, say, and the instructions said something like:

> " To type a letter 'e', use shift control right bracket kanji-something.
> On keyboards without a kanji-something, refer to your manufacturers
> instructions. Pressing the letter 'e' on your keyboard will not work."

Whatever standard is agreed on, existing documents and practices should be
recognised and should be still usable as a sub-set of the global system.

> Has anyone actually looked at what Netscape is doing with
> character set support in their new version (I'm not in
> a position to judge the results.)

It is only in the Mac and PC versions, not the Unix version, so no I haven't.

> I'd suggest that a good critera for trying to put something
> in 2.1 is that it be modular and not drag in lots of side
> issues.

That sounds like an excellent suggestion. I am in favour of putting non-
contentious bits of HTML 3.0 out as 2.1 *provided* this is not taken as
license to argue 3.0 into obscurity for the next three years ;-). I want to
see 3.0 happen, really I do.

Chris Lilley
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