Re: HyTime compatibility (was Re: HTML spec)

Chris Adie <>
Via:; Mon, 21 Jun 1993 14:55:57 +0100
To: Dave_Raggett <>
Subject: Re: HyTime compatibility (was Re: HTML spec)
From: Chris Adie <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 93 14:55:52 WET DST
Message-id: <>
> I am exploring what it means to make HTML+ HyTime compatible. Elliot
> Kimber (IBM) is helping me in this regard. It definitely looks an
> important issue for the long term viability of HTML.

I have the HyTime standard in front of me, and on first reading it is
impressive in terms of what it tries to cover.  Much of it is
impenetrable, but I hope another pass through it will clarify my
understanding a bit.

But a word of caution.  In at least two different places I have read
that HyTime was designed for the INTERCHANGE of hypermedia data, and
that it is not necessarily a good choice for an efficient run-time
hypermedia format.  Of course, it may well be that the overhead
associated with HyTime is small compared with the network overhead for
multimedia data transfer - but we should be aware of the problem. 

Making WWW HyTime-compatible does not bring any immediate benefits. 
Maybe it would make the job of client developers easier if there was a
public-domain HyTime engine available - but until there is, it is
difficult to argue for.

Despite the above, I am keen that WWW should move in this direction. 
HyTime appears to provide a good deal of flexibility.  You could simply
view it as a collection of useful ideas with which to design hypermedia
applications - and nothing is lost by building in HyTime compatability.

Chris Adie                                   Phone:  +44 31 650 3363
Edinburgh University Computing Service       Fax:    +44 31 662 4809
University Library, George Square            Email:
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ, United Kingdom