Re: The remaining issues list

Christophe ESPERT (
Wed, 22 Mar 95 05:26:51 EST

In message <199503212318.PAA28636@rock> 21 Mar 95 18:21:35, wrote:

> | ...
> | HyTime links - no consensus reached
> I believe that as of right now, no proposal has been made, either. What
> is desired on this point?

I made a proposal last week. I sent both an SGML declaration and a modified HTML 3.0
DTD including simple HyTime support for hyperlinks. If you did not receive it and
if you are interested, let me know.

I know that in order for HTML to become a HyTime application a lot needs to be
accomplished especially regarding entity management. People keep saying that there
is the backward compatibility problem. I understand this point of view but I do not
think this is such a big issue.

There are plenty of HTML 1 and HTML 2 documents all around the world. Some people
want to make them HTML 3 with no effort and that's what they call the backward
compatibility requirement. My question is: why don't you let people decide if they
want their HTML 1 and 2 documents to become HTML 3? Leave the HTML 1 and 2 documents
as they are if you do not want HTML 3. Browsers will still be able to display them
because they support levels 1 and 2 today.

HTML 3 is a new set of rules, a new model. Of course there are plenty of new things
in it and developpers will have to support them. Making HTML 3 a more robust SGML
application seems to be a big deal for many people. Some complain that they can
parse HTML very quickly and that a fully operational SGML parser will be slower.
This is not true at all and I encourage people to use the public domain parsers with
APIs such as YASP or SP. Test them and you'll revise your position regarding the speed.
And it does not mean one can get rid of their current parser! A real SGML parser could
be used to parse HTML 3 documents with a proper DOCTYPE declaration and so forth.
What can you get from an SGML parser to build the image and the internal structure
of an HTML document in a browser? The answer is: everything you can get from your
parser now PLUS the validation PLUS information from the DTD PLUS the ability to
evolve more quickly towards future releases of HTML.

To come back to HyTime, one can say this is a very rich standard in terms of functionalities.
But it does not force you to use all these functionalities. It is like SGML, that is
an enabling standard.

Best regards,

Christophe Espert - E-mail:
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