Re: HTML/SGML/charsets

Eric W. Sink (
Fri, 31 Mar 95 11:40:10 EST

Terry Allen writes:

>The use of SGML to encode HTML docs is an SGML app, and must be
>conformant or it is meaningless.

>| We are not defining *just* an SGML app. We are defining a media type
>| that is both SGML-conformant and a reasonable proximity to what people
>| were calling "text/html" back in June of last year. That is why we
>| are in an IETF WG instead of an SGML Open group.
>No, SGML Open is not a standards body. Apples and oranges. And
>we specifically dealt with character set issues by deciding that
>we wouldn't, for 2.0, and that we'd limit ourselves to 8859-1.
>None of this equivocation is necessary.

Sorry, I side with Roy on this one. HTML is a merger of two worlds that
don't necessarily see eye to eye on everything. But, we are an IETF
Working Group. If the concerns of HTML and the Internet conflict, I look
at HTML through my Internet lens, not my SGML lens.

We all agree that we should be SGML conformant. However, I believe that
HTML is an application for the Internet first, and an SGML application

Terry, your recollection of the WG's decision on the charset issue does not
match mine. You and I were both at the San Jose meeting. I believe that
the minutes show that we agreed that the MIME specification of the charset
overrides SGML's specification.

This is a very simple issue, but very hard to choose. We will either be
slightly incompatible with SGML, or we will be slightly incompatible with
MIME. I believe we made the decision to choose the former. Am I recalling
this incorrectly?

>I suggest breaking out all the UA stuff into a separate document.

No. This is an *Internet* Draft.

Eric W. Sink, Senior Software Engineer --