Interest in HTML Conformance?

David Bianco <>
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 22:01:43 --100
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From: David Bianco <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Interest in HTML Conformance?
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Daniel W. Connolly writes:
 > I'm curious about the level of interest in publishing HTML standards
 > and promoting widespread agreement about the meaning of "HTML support"
 > in, for example, product literature.
[suggestions for publishing standards: rfcs and ISO WGs]
 > I'm interested in establishing a formal definition of HTML -- perhaps
 > a few variants including "Minimal HTML Support" (no forms, no nested
 > lists, conforming SGML), "Mosaic-2.x Support" (where 2.x is some
 > future release of Mosaic which coincides with publication of a DTD
 > that it supports).
 > Perhaps HTML+ could be incorporated as a level of support.
 > I'm willing to maintain a test suite that defines the variants
 > of conformance.
 > But I discovered some time ago that writing user documentation is
 > beyond my scope of expertise. And we certainly need human-readable
 > descriptions of HTML to go along with the machine readable DTD and
 > test suite.
 > I have talked some with a writer from NCSA who might be able to help,
 > but it didn't sound like he had a lot of time to contribute.

I could probably help out some there.  I'm not an extremely awesome
writer, but I can generally get my point across without too much
difficulty. 8-)

 > Are most folks (including the NCSA Mosaic licensees) content to define
 > HTML as "whatever the latest release of Mosaic supports", or are we
 > interested in published specifications? And do we have resources to
 > contribute toward that end?

With all due respect to the NCSA folks, I think it might not be such a
great idea to define HTML as "whatever ... Mosaic supports."  The WWW
is larger than any one tool can hope to encompass.  Ideally, I'd like to see
a published spec, to which the various clients could claim compliance.
I have no problem, per se, with a multi-tiered approach (ie. "Minimal
HTML" and other levels of conformance), but I'd want to be careful not
to introduce too much complexity there.  I read somewhere once that
HTML was intended to be simple. 8-)