Meaning of Prescriptive??

Stan Newton (
Tue, 16 Aug 1994 10:07:24 -0400

Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 10:07:24 -0400
Message-Id: <>
From: (Stan Newton)
Subject: Meaning of Prescriptive??

I have a new assignment to develop authoring tools for HTML documents and 
have been studying the July 94 draft of the HTML 2.0 specification. This is 
an excellent draft overall but I do have a question about the term Prescriptive.

I don't understand the use or meaning of the term Prescriptive, as in 
HTML.Prescriptive. What I mean is, I think I can follow how Prescriptive ON 
changes the tagging rules, but I don't understand the intent. Why is there a 
Prescriptive flag? How is it different from Proposed? If I have to author to 
just one specification (HTML 2.0 Level 2, let's say), how do I choose 
between Prescriptive ON or OFF?

Sorry if this is supposed to be obvious. I've looked for explanations and 
haven't found them.
Stan Newton
Newton Computing Solutions