Re: Deploying new versions [Was: Versioning HTML at the server]

Chris Lilley, Computer Graphics Unit (
Fri, 28 Oct 1994 13:00:09 +0100

> Tables are more like forms. The NCSA 2.5 browser should explicitly
> Accept: text/html-ncsa-2.5 or some such, and there should be an easy
> way for information providers to communicate to their server software
> the fact that a given document has tables in it, like using a .thtml
> extension. Granted, .thtml is a short-term hack that doesn't scale,
> but it's better than breaking existing clients.

Does this mean that Arena should accept: text/html-ncsa-2.5 too,
becuase it also does tables? What sholds mosaic for mac send, i believe
it does them too, probably it is not at version 2.5 either.

What happens when mosaic 2.6 comes out?

Very soon, this would mean that serv ers would have to look out for a
large list of different accept headers, all of which would mean that
HTML 3 style tables were accepted. This is just another way of keeping
a browser list. Server writers and operators should not have to
maintain an up-to-date list of all the browsers in existence and all
the different versions therof and a table mapping each of these to what
features of HTML 3 are supported.

Dan, the more I think about this the more it seems a poorly worked out
solution. I know you used it mainly as a lead-in to your HTTP/2.0
discussion, but still...

As HTML 3 is destined to be deployed and tested in stages, surely there
must be some way to specify in a browser independent way what is

Sure, if someone wants to serve radically different experimental
extensions to HTML these might be tagged as an entirely different

But it seems absurd to penalise browsers that are helping us along the
standards track from HTML 2 to HTML 3 by supporting some of the HTML 3

> Eventually, server software should be enhanced to efficiently open
> the file and find some magic cookie (like a <!DOCTYPE declaration...)

OK, I have been changing things on the servers I run so that all my
HTML documents (even those served up by CGI scripts!!) begin thus,
cribbed off the HaL syntax checker ;-)

etc First, is this correct? Should there be a 2 or 2.0 in there at the end and if so, does it go like this Second, if this is correct, PLEASE someone spell out the magic words that should be placed at the top of HTML 3 documents. None of the ones at CERN have any declaration, they just start off which is fine if you know what DTD you are using and it lets you omit tags. Thirdly, if I create some HTML 3 documents and put them on my server, which I intend to do, if I get my server to spit out Content-type: text/html; version=3.0 will this break anything? Will it offend anyone? Will it help anyone? > I don't have enough experience to design > an optimal solution right now, but that's no excuse for folks to go > breaking existing clients. (I'll say it again: don't break existing > clients!) OK, the HTML 3.0 samples at cern ( are breaking existing clients, by your definition. They are tagged as text/html and have no DOCTYPE in them. What should be done about it? -- Chris <!-- body="end" --> <p> <ul> <!-- next="start" --> <li> <b>Next message:</b> <a href="0464.html">Martijn Koster: "Re: Network Abuse by Netscape? -- Was: Mosaic replacements, etc..."</a> <li> <b>Previous message:</b> <a href="0462.html">H&kon W Lie: "Re: Structured text v. page descriptions (was Netscape, HTML, and Designers)"</a> <li> <b>Maybe in reply to:</b> <a href="0447.html">Daniel W. Connolly: "Deploying new versions [Was: Versioning HTML at the server]"</a> <!-- nextthread="start" --> </ul>