Re: RTF/Rainbow [Was: Netscape v NCSA, Progress? ]

Earl Hood (
Tue, 18 Oct 1994 20:53:09 +0100

(fwd of msg sent to newsgroup)

Newsgroups: comp.infosystems.www.misc
Subject: Re: Netscape & New HTML

>: Some of the NetScape "enhancements" go counter to the philosophy of
>: HTML and SGML and in that sense they are "patches" rather than enhacements.
>And there are many who feel the "philosophy of HTML and SGML" of taking
>away creative/artistic control of display from the author of a document is a
>major defect in HTML and SGML.

Let's remind ourselves of a few things before we go on:

o WWW does NOT equal HTML
o WWW (thru HTTP, FTP, gopher) allows the abiltity to provide
all types of data: images, video, audio, text, etc, and yes,

HTML was designed to allow information providers using the WWW to
serve hypertext documents easily w/o learning a complex markup

Now, for those who like complete control in how their documents will
look, then use PostScript (or some other language) that will serve your
needs. Nothing is stopping WWW clients from directly supporting
PostScript or other page description languages. So, instead of
'bastardizing' a language that people tend to forget what its intent
is, use another launguage. Remember, HTML is ONLY one of the many
content-types that the HTTP protocal (WWW) supports. You have a

I'm not advocating that HTML stay static. I welcome enhancements to
HTML that improve it as a markup language, but HTML is (will be) a
standard. And changes to it should be officially approved. You don't
see people make arbitary changes other standards: ANSI C,
MIME, TCP/IP, etc, just to suit a particular need: "Oh, people
have been demanding set operations, like Pascal, in C, so I decided
to add the support to our compiler."

Standards serve a purpose: interoperablility. If you are not
satisified with HTML, choose something else. It's not like there are
no other document description languages available.

>I want my document to look the way *I* designed it.

Then don't use HTML. HTML is structured language that allows some
formatting hints (more formatting markup exists in HTML+). The beauty
of HTML, is that it is simple (compared to other document description
languages) to render and leaves all the tough descisions about fonts,
color, etc, to the client (which makes HTML documents small and
less time to transmit). Since WWW connects machines of all types, HTML
allows quick and easy dissemination of information.


P.S. BTW, nothing prevents one using SGML as a typesetting markup
language. However, since such languages already exist (PostScript,
TeX), it is not normally used for such a purpose.

Earl Hood | CONVEX Computer Corporation | 3000 Waterview Parkway
Phone: (214) 497-4387 | P.O. Box 833851
FAX: (214) 497-4500 | Richardson, TX 75083-3851