Re: The remaining issues list

lilley (
Wed, 22 Mar 95 13:55:32 EST

Terry Allen says

> Dave writes re colspec in tables:

> > The latest version of the HTML 3.0 proposal attempts to satisfy many of
> > the concerns raised in the SGML Open recommendations. I have retained
> > the COLSPEC attribute after improvements (see below) as I feel this
> > much more concise, easier to read, and provides the same expressive power
> > as the sequence of <COLSPEC> elements suggested by the SGML Open team.

> But the issue here is compatibility with CALS,

It is? When was that change made?

<> states:

The first version of HTML was designed to be extremely simple, both to
author and to write browsers for. This has played a major role in the
incredibly rapid growth of the World Wide Web. HTML 3.0 provides a
clean superset of HTML 2.0 adding high value features such as tables,
text flow around figures and math, while still remaining a simple
document format. The pressures to adopt the complexities of traditional
SGML applications has been resisted, for example the Department of
Defense's CALS table model or the ISO 12083 math DTD.

And the dtd (Draft: Tues 21-Mar-95 10:16:50) states:

Design Objectives:

o Keep HTML - simple don't compete with CALS

> which enables easier
> interchange, conversion, and use of existing tools. As colspec-as-element
> "provides the same expressive power," and table markup of the type
> under consideration is not for the fainthearted anyway, the argument
> from concision and ease of reading (the latter I would dispute) seems
> kinda weak.

But if simplicity is a design goal, and if the colspec-as-element gives
equivalent expressive power, then converting from many colspecs to
one colspec should be a fairly straightforward function to add to all the
other conversions that an SGML authoring environment is going to have to do
to convert a rich, dense CALS document to the simpler, web-lingua-franca
that is HTML. So arguing for difficulty in conversion looks a little weak

Chris Lilley
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