Re: Frames & WWW

P. M. Hallam-Baker (
Thu, 17 Nov 1994 13:49:10 +0100

In article <> you write:
|> >>>>> "gtn" == Gavin Nicol <> writes:
|> gtn> To: CC:
|> >> SGML is alledgedly quite capable of doing everything. The
|> >> problem is that the designers did not try an implementation of
|> >> many features before they piled them into the spec. Test
|> gtn> Bollocks. Most people avoid the grottier features of SGML and
|> gtn> everyone recognises that this is the correct thing to do. I
|> ("Bollocks"? Are you English, or did you translate into the native idiom?:)
|> Phil's comment about SGML being spec'd without implementation isn't strictly
|> true. In fact, the situation is pretty much the reverse... SGML grew out
|> of IBM's GML- A lot of the peculiarities are the result of implementation
|> features of GML that slid their way in to the standard. All sorts of whacky
|> restrictions in the standard make a strange sort of sense if you think about
|> them in the context of one particular implementation of a parser.

I was thinking specifically of the HYTIME extensions that recently were passed
'Unanimously' despite there being no implementation. And of course without bothering
to look at what was already in the field.

As for `most people with sense avoid the worse features of this standard'. Lets think
about that for a moment eh? Basically you are saying that the standard works because
people don't follow it. Or in other words the standard is not in fact a standard.
That being the case what should be done is to take the standard and rewrite it
depreciating the more egregious lossage.

As for not reading the TEI spec. I follow the ISO standard, 50 quid it cost me. Are
you saying that I have the wrong standards body and that TEI is really the definitive
version? If so we should get this cleared up as soon as possible.

The problem that I have with this "X is wonderful it can do everything" attitude is
that X frequently turns out to have two operating modes, it can either be simple
or it can be doing everything and the two modes are disjoint.

If TEI are willing to send me a copy of their specification without cost I will
read it. If anyone is using their standard within the Web it would of course have
greater weight. But if its simply an unconnected commercial implementation
then I am sure the IETF will give it due weight in their considerations.

The point that I am making is that Gavins assertion that my suggestion is
`incorrect' is more than suspect. Unless he can point to an ISO or IETF
standard that it conflicts with I reject his assertion. At best he can claim
`incompatibility with existing implementation'.

Phill Hallam-Baker