Re: Format Negotiation in Practice [Was: Versioning HTML at the server]

Chris Lilley, Computer Graphics Unit (
Wed, 19 Oct 1994 15:53:36 +0100

In message <> Earl Hood wrote:

> [ attribution deleted ] wrote:

>> 3) A parser in every client.

> A lot of data to transmit when I connect to other-side of the world. I
> think supporting SGML directly will be nice, but extra data is required
> transmission (the declaration, the DTD, the stylesheet, and the
> document instance). For big DTDs (and subsequently big stylesheets)
> this can be a pain. I'd hate having to wait for the HTML DTD to
> be sent to me evertime I retrieved an HTML document.

Yes. Realistically, this is going to have to wait for URIs, URNs or whatever
they are called nowadays - Web server independent URLs that are resolved by a
URx server like internet addresses are resolved now by name servers.

That way, the DTD, stylesheet and declaration are referenced by URNs so everyone
uses the same links, and there is a good chance that you already have them. Plus
a standard declaration for HTML docs for which the browser has the DTD or some
more convenient equivalent) built in, so it is always there.

Same for stylesheets, a default one where no link is supplied (ie, a definition
if how your browser renders things by default).

The system will then fall back gracefully so that a plain HTML document does not
involve carting a DTD etc across the world every time or even the first time.

Of course, the timescales for this are anyones guess and if they are too far in
the future, this will never happen because the problem will have been solved
another way.