Conversion Programs? HTML complexity/compliance issues

John Lewis (
Mon, 11 Jul 1994 22:18:21 +0200

At 08:54 PM 7/11/94 +0200, Chris Lilley, Computer Graphics Unit wrote:
>Why? You're not ...
>> The more duplicated text there is
>> the harder it will be for me to maintain.
>You are. You're going to do it manually, aren't you. No no no no
>Use a conversion program. Please.

Could we all get a run down of what you think the best "conversion programs"
are? On the three major OS's (Unix, Mac, DOS).

I have a feeling that many of us are still creating and maintaining HTML
documents manually. In my view, the reason for this is that:

1) There is not a basic "Do this and Don't do That" document regarding HTML
creation. The intro to HTML doc's I've come across discuss the minimal HTML
coding needed. However, they do not go into details about what to do and
not to do to make the documents as complient as possible with regard to
future generations of HTML.

2) Conversion programs are not adequately emphasized or publicised. If we
all want to integrate more capabilities into HTML at the expense of
simplicity, then we need to work on creating software which makes it easy
for laymen(women) to create/convert "correct" HTML documents without to much

Basic HTML is easy to learn and use. This is one of the reasons the WWW has
taken off the way it has. When you get into issues regarding <HEAD>
contents, things get murky and inadequately documented (IMHO). Many HTML
writers avoid these complexities because they do not effect the appearence
of the HTML with today's browsers. If we decide to evolve to stricter, more
powerful, SGML complient HTML, then we have to think about the the average
user out there. We need to avoid making all the HTML doc's which currently
exist obsolete due to stricter requirements (unless an easy to use update
program exists), when much of the HTML authors were unaware they had to
comply to certain standards in the first place.

Perhaps one of you guru's could come up with a layman's interpretation of
the latest HTML spec, come up with some guidlines for HTML writers to comply
to the current and future standards, and emphasize which "conversion
programs" to use and how to use them effectively. Then we should distribute
this document with all Web browsers and servers (or provide links to it in
all browsers and servers).

Am I wrong in making these assumptions? If so, where and what
documents/programs am I not aware of?
John Lewis | Space Activism home page
Quantum Research Corporation | |
(301) 657-3070 | [Speaking for myself only]