Proposed extensions to HTML

Murray Maloney (
Thu, 17 Nov 1994 15:37:19 -0500 (EST)

Subject: Proposed extensions to HTML
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 1994 15:37:19 -0500 (EST)
From: Murray Maloney <>
Message-Id:  <9411171537.aa04218@dali.scocan.sco.COM>

Hi all,

I saw the following article posted on comp.infosystems.www.misc

Unfortunately it was posted from an "anonymous contact service",
so it is not possible to know who posted it.  I assume that it
had to come from someone at Netscape Communications;  I hope
an appropriate person will join this discussion in due course.

Anyway, I was hoping that we could get a discussion started.
I see alot of merit in some/many of the extensions proposed here.
I also see some things which I would have done differently.

I am deliberately not posting this on the html-wg list for now.
That mailing list is busy dealing with last minute revisions
to the HTML 2.0 specification for submission at the IETF
meeting in San Jose (Dec 5, 1994).

I have deliberately not posted my response back to the newsgroup
as it has way too much traffic for me to be able to consider
participating in a discussion in that forum.  This mail list,
on the other hand, is much more manageable.  If you don't agree,
then by all means take it back to comp.infosystems.www.misc
and I will simply have to drop out of the discussion.

I will be posting my comments about these proposed changes
at a later date.



Murray C. Maloney			Internet:
Technical Publications Writer/Architect	Uucp:	   ...uunet!sco!murray
SCO Canada, Inc.			My Phone:  (416) 960-4031
130 Bloor Street West, 10th Floor	Fax:	   (416) 922-2704
Toronto, Ontario, Canada  M5S 1N5	SCO Phone: (416) 922-1937
Sponsor member of Davenport Group (
Member of IETF HTML Working Group (
Member of SGML Open Internet and WWW Technical Committee

Forwarded message:
> Message-ID: <>
> Newsgroups: comp.infosystems.www.misc
> From:
> X-Anonymously-To: comp.infosystems.www.misc
> Organization: Anonymous contact service
> Reply-To:
> Date: Sat, 12 Nov 1994 04:44:57 UTC
> Subject: MCOM html extensions
> Lines: 223
>                               EXTENSIONS TO HTML
>    These are proposed extensions to the soon to be released HTML 2.0
>    specification. Mosaic Communications will be working with the
>    appropriate standards bodys, including W3O, and the authors of other
>    WWW browsers in an attempt to have these extensions available in all
>    browsers in the near future. All the Netscape extensions to HTML
>    take the form of additional tags and attributes added to the HTML
>    specification and are specifically designed not to break existing WWW
>    browsers. 
>    <ISINDEX>
>           To the ISINDEX element we have added the PROMPT tag. ISINDEX
>           indicates that a document is a searchable index. PROMPT has
>           been added so the document author can specify what message they
>           want to appear before the text input field of the index. The
>           default is of course that unfortunate message: This is a
>           searchable index. Enter search keywords:
>    <HR>
>           The HR element specifies that a horizontal rule of some sort
>           (The default being a shaded engraved line) be drawn across the
>           page. To this element we have added 4 new tags to allow the
>           document author some ability to describe how the horizontal
>           rule should look. 
>         <HR SIZE=number>
>                 The SIZE tag lets the author give an indication of how
>                 thick they wish the horizontal rule to be.
>         <HR WIDTH=number|percent>
>                 The default horizontal rule is always as wide as the
>                 page. With the WIDTH tag, the author can specify an exact
>                 width in pixels, or a relative width measured in percent
>                 of document width.
>         <HR ALIGN=left|right|center>
>                 Now that horizontal rules do not have to be the width of
>                 the page we need to allow the author to specify whether
>                 they should be pushed up against the left margin, the
>                 right margin, or centered in the page.
>         <HR NOSHADE>
>                 Finally, for those times when you really want a solid
>                 bar, the NOSHADE tag lets you specify that you do not
>                 want any fancy shading of your horizontal rule. 
>    <UL>
>           Your basic bulleted list has a default progression of bullet
>           types that changes as you move through indented levels. From a
>           solid disc, to a circle to a square. We have added a TYPE tag
>           to the UL element so no matter what your indent level you can
>           specify whether you want a TYPE=disc, TYPE=circle, or
>           TYPE=square as your bullet.
>    <OL>
>           Your average ordered list counts 1, 2, 3, ... etc. We have also
>           added the TYPE tag to this element to allow authors to specify
>           whether the want their list items marked with: capital letters
>           (TYPE=A), small letters (TYPE=a), large roman numerals
>           (TYPE=I), small roman numerals (TYPE=i), or the default numbers
>           (TYPE=1).
>           For lists that wish to start at values other than 1 we have the
>           new tag START. START is always specified in the default
>           numbers, and will be converted based on TYPE before display.
>           Thus START=5 would display either an 'E', 'e', 'V', 'v', or '5'
>           based on the TYPE tag.
>    <LI>
>           To give even more flexibility to lists, we thought it would be
>           nice if the author could change the list type, and for ordered
>           lists the list count index as they progressed. To this end we
>           added the TYPE tag to the LI element as well. It takes the same
>           values as either UL or OL depending on the type of list you are
>           in, and it changes the list type for that item, and all
>           subsequent items. For ordered lists we have also added the
>           VALUE element so you can change the count, for that list item
>           and all subsequent.
>    <IMG>
>           The IMG tag is probably the most extended tag. 
>         <IMG
>                 ALIGN=left|right|top|texttop|middle|absmiddle|baseline|botto
>                 m|absbottom>
>                 The additions to your ALIGN options needs a lot of
>                 explanation. First, the values "left" and "right". Images
>                 with those alignments are an entirely new floating
>                 image type. A ALIGN=left image will float down and over
>                 to the left margin (into the next available space there),
>                 and subsequent text will wrap around the right hand side
>                 of that image. Likewise for ALIGN=right the image aligns
>                 with the right margin, and the text wraps around the
>                 left.
>                 The rest of the align options are my way of trying to
>                 correct for the horrible errors I made when first
>                 implementing the IMG tag, without destroying the look of
>                 existing documents. ALIGN=top does just what it always
>                 did, which is align itself with the top of the tallest
>                 item in the line. ALIGN=texttop does what many people
>                 thought top should do which is align itself with the top
>                 of the tallest text in the line (this is usually but not
>                 always the same as ALIGN=top). ALIGN=middle does just
>                 what it always did, it aligns the baseline of the current
>                 line with the middle of the image. ALIGN=absmiddle does
>                 what middle should have done which is align the middle of
>                 the current line with the middle of the image.
>                 ALIGN=baseline aligns the bottom of the image with the
>                 baseline of the current line. ALIGN=bottom does just what
>                 it always did (which is identical to ALIGN=baseline but
>                 baseline is a better name). ALIGN=absbottom does what
>                 bottom should have done which is align the bottom of the
>                 image with the bottom of the current line.
>         <IMG WIDTH=value HEIGHT=value>
>                 The WIDTH and HEIGHT tags were added to IMG mainly to
>                 speed up display of the document. If the author specifies
>                 these, the viewer of their document will not have to wait
>                 for the image to be loaded over the network and its size
>                 calculated.
>         <IMG BORDER=value>
>                 This lets the document author control the thickness of
>                 the border around an image displayed. Warning: setting
>                 BORDER=0 on images that are also part of anchors may
>                 confuse your users as they are used to a colored border
>                 indicating an image is an anchor.
>         <IMG VSPACE=value HSPACE=value>
>                 For the floating images it is likely that the author
>                 does not want them pressing up against the text wrapped
>                 around the image. VSPACE controls the vertical space
>                 above and below the image, while HSPACE controls the
>                 horizontal space to the left and right of the image. 
>    <BR>
>           With the addition of floating images, we needed to expand the
>           BR tag. Normal BR still just inserts a line break. We have
>           added a CLEAR tag to BR, so CLEAR=left will break the line, and
>           move vertically down until you have a clear left margin (no
>           floating images). CLEAR=right does the same for the right
>           margin, and CLEAR=all moves down until both margins are clear
>           of images.
> New Elements
>    <NOBR>
>           The NOBR element stands for NO BReak. This means all the text
>           between the start and end of the NOBR elements cannot have line
>           breaks inserted between them. While NOBR is essential for those
>           odd character sequences you really don't want broken, please be
>           careful; long text strings inside of NOBR elements can look
>           rather odd.
>    <WBR>
>           The WBR element stands for Word BReak. This is for the very
>           rare case when you have a NOBR section and you know exactly
>           where you want it to break. Also, any time you want to give
>           Netscape help by telling it where a word is allowed to be
>           broken. The WBR element does not force a line break (BR does
>           that) it simply lets Netscape know where a line break is
>           allowed to be inserted if needed.
>    <FONT SIZE=value>
>           Surprise! You can change the font size. Valid values range from
>           1-7. The default font size is 3. The value given to size can
>           optionally have a '+' or '-' character in front of it to
>           specify that it is relative the the document basefont. The
>           default basefont is 3, and can be changed with the BASEFONT
>           element.
>    <BASEFONT SIZE=value>
>           This changes the size of the BASEFONT that all relative font
>           changes are based on. It defaults to 3, and has a valid range
>           of 1-7.
>    <CENTER>
>           You aren't dreaming, yes you can center your text. All lines of
>           text between the begin and end of CENTER are centered between
>           the current left and right margins. A new tag has been
>           introduced rather than using the proposed <P Align="center">
>           because using <P Align="center"> breaks many existing browsers
>           when the <P> tag is used as a container. The <P Align="center">
>           tag is also less general and does not support all cases where
>           centering may be desired.
> Behavioral Changes
>    Font attributes are now properly cumulative. Text inside something
>    like
>    <i><tt><font size=6><b>Text here</b></font></tt></i>
>    will be italic fixed bold text of size 6.
>    Netscape should now properly deal with the awful HTML comment
>    sequence. This should be: <!-- Comment here --> These comments can
>    include other elements, and thus be used to quickly comment out large
>    chunks of markup.
>    Line breaking is a little more under control now. Unless specified
>    with a formatting element, lines can only be broken where empty space
>    occurs in the original document. This means any spaces, tabs, or
>    newlines. You should never again have the sequence <A HREF=url>Anchor
>    here</A>. broken between the highlighted anchor and the period.
> New Entities
>    In addition to the [1]usual & escaped entities:
>    &reg; -> Registered Trademark -> &reg;
>    &copy; -> Copyright -> &copy;
>      _________________________________________________________________
>    [2]
>    Copyright &copy; 1994 Mosaic Communications Corporation.
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