Re: ACTION re: HTML 3: Too many tags!

Murray Altheim (
Fri, 28 Jul 95 12:26:33 EDT

Ian Graham <> wrote:
>Murray Altheim <> wrote:
>> Ian,
>> I've looked over your two examples and I really doubt we could *all* come
>> to a
>> consensus on their extended meaning. If we were to break down "the strongly
>> emphasized string is an author" and "the author is strongly emphasized", it
>> would still be difficult to assess the alternate meanings. And given that
>> the final product of the two variants is theoretically the same in display,
>> it may be moot; but I do see your point. It just seems that you could use
>> the attribute ordering as easily as the tag placement, in fact it would be
>> much simpler to modify if necessary: <SEM CLASS="strong author"> to <SEM
>> CLASS="author strong">.
>If things can be made to work that way, then I agree. However, with
>REL/REV attribute values the consensus was the opposite -- that the
>order of multiple values was not meaningful. So I would be concerned
>about having order matter in some places, and not others.

The raison d'etre for CLASS is different than REL/REV, which are merely to
express relational value. CLASS is by nature semantic/informational, and in
other examples expresses hierarchy. Maybe it is a simple matter of changing
<SEM CLASS="strong author"> to <SEM CLASS=""> (adding a
period) to express hierarchy.

> [ I also couldn't recall if SGML allows for ordering in name tokens --
> it probably does, but I loaned out my SGML bible..... ]

I believe it does, but I don't have my reference handy either.

>As for how we could define the meaning of the ordering.... you well
>pointed out that my examples could be interpreted in several different
>ways... I am unsure if in fact there would be a way to define an
>unambiguous meaning to ordering.

I believe this will always be up to the document author, so it really goes
beyond the scope of HTML to worry about *how* it's done, only create a
structure to do so, such as "" etc.


Murray M. Altheim, Information Systems Analyst
National Technology Transfer Center, Wheeling, West Virginia