Re: WWWWW Notes

Tony Sanders <>
Message-id: <9308131554.AA18388@austin.BSDI.COM>
Subject: Re: WWWWW Notes 
In-Reply-To: Steve Heaney's message of Fri, 13 Aug 93 13:10:51 +0200.
Organization: Berkeley Software Design, Inc.
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1993 10:54:36 -0500
From: Tony Sanders <>
Status: RO
> A DTD describing an "abstract presentation information" (which Nathan 
> suggests) is no more or less than _another_ presentation format.  Surely 
> we can aim higher that that.
> > As usual, my opinions only...
The trick is to allow device independent presentation while still providing
the most common semantics.  HTML/HTML+ is ultimatly a presentation language
and there is no way around it.  If you cannot convert most DTD's to
HTML/HTML+ then we are back to square one because it is *impossible* to
include semantics for everything under the sun.

Will we ever be free of the SGML "presentation is evil, evil I say" party
line?  If you want anyone to be able to read your SGML then you have to
have some presentation somewhere.  HTML/HTML+ is a compromise between
allowing as much semantic content as possible -- while still having a
finite DTD -- but still allowing a wide variety of data to be encoded
for (here is that evil word again) presentation.

HTML/HTML+ is presentation with semantics, keep saying that over and over.

On the other hand maybe you know something I don't.  If you can write a
DTD that does everything that everyone needs without using any presentation
then get in contact with Dave Raggett <> and see what
you two can work out.  Oh, BTW, most of the actuall presentation
is in what we are calling a "Style Guide" that is external to the
HTML/HTML+ document and provides hints to the browser about how to
render the document (so you can use the authors style guide, or your
own personal favorite).

When we talk about presentation in HTML+ we are mostly talking about tables
and external graphical image layout (e.g., gif's).  Someone should make
a list of the presentation like elements in HTML+.