Re: SGML confirming?

Craig Hubley (
Mon, 17 Apr 95 13:35:57 EDT

> The HTML3 specification states:
> HTML is an application conforming to the International Standard
> ISO 8879 -- Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML).

Well, we'd all like to think so.

> Has anyone succeeded in using an SGML compliant parser to parse
> HTML2 and HTML3 documents? If so, could you please point me to it?

Yes I got a parser to choke down some stuff, no I am not sure what it choked
down was HTML2 and HTML3 compliant. I promised not to tell whose parser it
was, until they have got it working better. It's nothing you can buy now.

> I'm trying to use a DTD driven SGML parser to read HTML documents but I
> am finding that the HTML standard has diverged significantly from the
> SGML standard.

I think you are finding that the HTML *practice* has diverged significantly
from the SGML standard. Authors and vendors are, as always, hacking stuff up.
Typically code that does not satisfy the standard will still display properly.
This gives rise to problems. The colloquial idea of the HTML *standard* can
currently be stated as:

"I got it to go in both Netscape and Mosaic, dooood"

Goals of the HTML standards committee include replacing 'dooood' with 'sir' or
at least truncuating the exaggerated central vowel so it is less specific to
California, and replacing 'Netscape and Mosiac' with 'multiple ISO-8879-compliant
HTML browsers'. Thus the standardized version of the colloquial standard is:

"I got it to go in multiple ISO-8879-compliant HTML browsers, sir"

The above may still be spoken in an accent remniscent of Keanu Reaves in
'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure' but this would be an implementation choice.

> Have fun,

We're trying.

Craig Hubley                Business that runs on knowledge
Craig Hubley & Associates   needs software that runs on the net     416-778-6136    416-778-1965 FAX
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