Re: A thought on implementation... (John Franks)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 1994 19:04:37 --100
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From: (John Franks)
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Subject: Re: A thought on implementation...
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According to Erik Naggum:
> A restriction on the legality of SGML constructs also means that we can no
> longer use ordinary SGML tools to test for conformance to the HTML+ DTD and
> document conventions, but will have to build new tools to validate already
> valid SGML documents.  I maintain that this is a very bad idea.  The cost
> of the alternative is small in comparison.

One fact of life which this discussion (except for Dan Connolly) seems
to be conveniently ignoring is that creating standards does not compel
browser writers to comply with them.  It is fine to say, "Well yes,
from the point of view of formal languages SGML was badly designed and
that makes correct parsing complicated, but it is our standard we have
to stick to it.  Just do it right!"  But I think that Dan's point was
that browser writers haven't stuck to it and I am not sure just why we
can expect them to in the future.  Writing a browser is very
difficult.  It is not clear just how much of HTML+ will actually be
implemented in any form in popular browsers.

For many information providers today, what Mosaic and lynx will process
is much more important than what sgmls will validate.  It is fine to
say that validation is very important to you and you aren't willing
to compromise in order to make the browser writer's life easier and 
browser performance/reliability better.  But unless you plan on writing
your own browser and distributing it to your target audience, you 
may want to try to *persuade* browser writers that there is something
in it for them if they put in all this extra work.

John Franks 	Dept of Math. Northwestern University