Re: Proposal for an Outlining Markup Scheme For HTML 3.0

Michael Borgsmiller (
Thu, 13 Jul 1995 13:56:09 +0400

>In regards to Tilbury's following comment...
>"I think I'd be inclined to agree with Brian here. We already have a
>mechanism for creating lists, ordered or otherwise, and for creating
>entries within these lists, and encapsulating further lists within these
>entries. {snip snip} We already have three list metaphor elements within
>the DTD, <OL>, <UL>, and <DL>. Another would be unnecessary, IMHO."
>We disagree. Sure there are already several metaphors (these metaphors are
>only a subset of the possibilities) being used by HTML 3.0, but one of the
>goals of HTML is to provide the greatest capability with the least codes.
>We feel that our proposal provides many new functions with a limited set of
>additional codes. These functions include outlining a book, heirarchical
>representations of information spaces, non-hierarchical representations of
>information spaces, and a plethora of capabilities that centers around the
>ability to dynamically reveal text at the will of the user. All while
>keeping network reconnects and transactions to a minimum. However, we are
>certainly interested in seeing a proposal which could make use of existing
>tags, i.e. OL, and "wrap" them in some kind of outline mark-up so as to
>produce the effect we desire. We tried this and failed. [See we aren't as
>smart as we think! :-)]
>Simon Blackwell (
>Kieth Rettig (
Take a look at:

This shows that commercial vendors are already starting to provide outlining
functionality through use of style sheets. I concur with the camp that says
keep HTML focused on things of semantic significance (i.e., tabular data
sets, titles, nested lists, directed acyclic graphs -- DAGs -- necessary for
pert and gant charts, etc.) and leave the presentation of individual and
groups of pages to individual or default style sheet pages of authors and/or
users, respectively.

Please tell me in semantic terms why your proposal is needed, versus
presentation which IMHO appears to be possible through the use of style
sheets. For example, I know of no tags capable of defining DAGs which are
necessary to encode dependency information in the presentation of subtasks
that would be necessary to complete some complex project being described
within an HTML 3.0 document. A style sheet could present this information
graphically if only there were such tags. A set of DAG defining tags would
provide additional meaning beyond lists, but given HTML's existing list
tags, I like some the other interested parties do not appreciate the
semantic difference of your proposed tags. What is it that I am overlooking

Michael J. Borgsmiller Phone: 615 576-8272
Lockheed Martin Energy Systems Fax: 615 574-7624
Opinions Expressed Are My Own -- Not My Employer's