HTML+ : questions, and a suggestion for a graph or tree tag (bryan d oakley)
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 93 10:29:38 CDT
From: (bryan d oakley)
Message-id: <9309271529.AA14629@hickory.iapa>
Subject: HTML+ : questions, and a suggestion for a graph or tree tag
I am a new user of HTML and the various HTML browsers, most notably
the mosaic browsers -- quite a feat for someone not directly connected
to the internet!  Anyway, our programming group is seriously
considering HTML (and now, HTML+) for all of it's internal
documentation.  So much for background.

I just received (via email *sigh*) the HTML+ document dated July 12th,
1993.  I really like what I see, though to a very small degree I'm sad
to see HTML becoming more complex.  Part of the beauty of HTML is that
it is so simple.  Such is life I suppose.  Of course, the other part
of me is saying the new features are absolutely great!

The questions?  Here we go.  Just exactly where in the whole process
is HTML+?  What I really want to know is, can my group start to use
HTML+ today, or is it best to wait another month (2 months? 6 months?)
before jumping on the '+' bandwagon?  What viewers can properly handle
HTML+, if any?  Perhaps the version 2 prerelease of Xmosaic?  For what
it's worth, we are just now receiving a bunch of SGI Indigo 2's.  

And finally, a suggestion for a new tag, a list type which is
graphically displayed as a tree.  This could either be an extension of
the list, or a whole new tag (<tree></tree>)

As a simple example, it would allow for a more graphical
representation of a directory structure, to wit (and in text mode..):
          bin       src       doc        lib       etc
                         html      ps

... and so on. 

Alternately, one could create a graphical representation of the links
through a tutorial.  The HTML style guide mentions providing two
separate trees, or paths, though a hypertext document -- one for
novices and one for experts.  I think it would be great to present the
reader with the graphical representation of the paths available to
them, with the nodes of the tree being active links.

How would the tags work?  Two possible examples might be (using the
above tree as an example):

---- method 1 ----              ---- method 2 ----
<TL>				<TL>
<TR> 				root<TR> root
<TC> bin			<TC> bin
<TC> src			<TC> src
<TC> <TL>			<TS> doc
     <TR> doc                       <TC> html
         <TC> html		    <TC> ps
         <TC> ps		</TS>    
     </TL>			<TC> lib
<TC> lib			<TC> etc
<TC> etc			</TL>

... where <TL> stands for Tree List, <TR> is Tree Root, <TC> is Tree
Child.  In the first example, tree tags must be nested to get deeper
trees.  In the second case I use the <TS> (Tree Subtree) tag.  This
would allow a client to display the root of a tree in a different
manner (say, bolded, or in a larger font) without affecting the

It might also be nice to display two trees or graphs side by side, and
to be able to have lines drawn from a node on one tree to a node on
another to allow the linking of trees.  This would be useful to link
the 'expert' and 'novice' paths at given points.  I think this is
getting to be a bit much, though, and could result in an really ugly
display for clients that couldn't display trees side-by-side, or in
the same window.

Instrument Approach Procedures Automation             DOT/FAA/AMI-230
Bryan D. Oakley         
KENROB and Associates, Inc.              voice: (405) 954-7176 (work)
5909 NW Expwy Suite 209                         (405) 366-6248 (home)
Oklahoma City, Ok.  73132