Re: The remaining issues list

Christophe ESPERT (
Thu, 23 Mar 95 05:37:33 EST

In message <> 22 Mar 95 12:43:56, wrote:

> Yes. The user population is already voting with it's feet. That is why
> putting out an HTML 2.1 with tables, fig, sup, sub and so on is a good
> idea (provided it does not delay the release of HTML 3.0) - to head off
> the march to incompatible formats.
> Lots of pages already use align for images; quite a few are starting to
> use tables. Look at all the pages that use GIFs of tables. I suspect
> even more people would like to use these features but are hanging back
> from making their pages browser specific.
> 2.0 represents the rough concensus of mid-94. A 2.1 that represented
> the rough concensus of early to mid 95 and additionally was compatible
> with HTML 3.0 would give a lot of people the freedom to go ahead and use
> the features they have been asking for. But if it were agreed on tomorrow,
> it would still take 3 or 4 months to get through the standardisation hoops.
> But this just gives us a breathing space to get HTML 3.0 finished and out
> while it is still relevant and still has a chance to be the standard that
> is used, rather than the standard that is ignored.
> > > If we define a "standard"
> > > for HTML 3.0 that is cumbersome migrate to, the market may
> > > vote with its feet for something else. I don't want a standard that
> > > needlessly increases fragmentation in the web.
> I concur. If we do put out an HTML 2.1, this should not (IMHO) be license
> to take a year or two making HTML 3.0 an all singing, all dancing,
> HyTime compliant, super everything, incompatible with all existing
> documents, late, irrelevant ... hell, we could take time out to make
> HTML 3.0 PREMO compliant as well if we really want to delay things.
> I suspect HyTime has a lot to offer. But that will need to be discuseed at
> some length and it opens up a big can of worms. Someone (sorry, don't have
> the ref to hand) suggested that it might be appropriate to look at HyTime
> for HTML 4.0, and I suggest this would be a suitable way to go.
> Alternatively, if Mr Espert wants to move faster than this and backwards
> compatibility is not an issue for him, perhaps influencing the text/sgml
> content type would be a better way to proceed?
> > As far as Netscape has done with their HTML "enhancements", I'd
> > say that maybe the new element types they introduced were necessary
> > but they shouldn't have done it this way.
> We all say that. The point is not what they should have done, but that
> they have done it and that people have enthusiastically taken up the
> extensions.
> > Once again I don't see why you want to migrate all the documents to
> > HTML 3? Only those documents that need the features introduced by
> > HTML 3 need such a migration (e.g. a document in which a table should
> > have been present in the first place).
> I think that there are more of these documents than perhaps Mr Espert
> realises.
> --
> Chris Lilley

Well thank you for this information. I am sorry if I am pushing too hard
on the HyTime issue. I just would like to show that using HyTime is not
as complex as some people think. I was just trying to make a proposal...
I am already happy that people give their opinion about this.

The ideas behing the proposal are that SGML and HyTime provide standardized
mechanisms for doing a few things. Some people will say that you are not
obliged to follow these mechanisms and they are right. It's because both
SGML and HyTime are enabling technologies and they are open.

I understand that the HyTime issue is not important for HTML 3 and that it
might be envisionned for HTML 4. So that's nice and interesting.

Best regards,

PS: In HTML 3 there is a slight possibility of a misunderstanding regarding
the VERSION attribute on the HTML element type. It has a #FIXED default
value which is "%HTML.Version;". The HTML.Version should be a general entity
if one wants it interpreted correctly. That is:
<!ENTITY HTML.Version "-//W3O//DTD HTML 3.0//EN">
which will mean:
VERSION = "-//W3O//DTD HTML 3.0//EN"
Otherwise it would remain:
VERSION = "%HTML.Version;"

Christophe Espert - E-mail:
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ISO 8879:1986 - SGML | ISO/IEC 10744:1992 - HyTime | ISO/DIS 10179 DSSSL