Re: Proposed extensions to HTML

lee@sq.com
Thu, 17 Nov 1994 17:23:39 -0500


Date: 	Thu, 17 Nov 1994 17:23:39 -0500
From: lee@sq.com
Message-Id: <9411172223.AA01267@sqrex.sq.com>
To: www-html@www0.cern.ch, murray@sco.com
Subject: Re: Proposed extensions to HTML


The right forum for the article would of course have been the html-wg list.

> >    <ISINDEX>
> >           To the ISINDEX element we have added the PROMPT tag.

I assume PROMPT is an attribute, <ISINDEX PROMPT="Enter keywords: "> ?
         
> >    <HR>

> >         <HR SIZE=number>
> >         <HR WIDTH=number|percent>

i.e. HR WIDTH="60%"> ?

> >         <HR ALIGN=left|right|center>

> >         <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. 

This would be better if it were
		<HR DECOR="none|shadow|emboss|hollow...">
see Tk for an example of this.

> >    <UL TYPE=disc>

is fine...

> >    <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).

Our SGML experience tells us that this is not a good way to go.
It's better done with style sheets  If you need to have label attributes,
you need to allow
	1.1.A.i.(a)
style numbering.  You need to be able to say
	this list item is to be numberd "7"
(e.g. if no. 6 was deleted)

you need to be able to say
	the number in this list continue from the previous list
e.g. because a list was interrupted, or because that's thehouse style.

> >         <IMG
> >                 ALIGN=left|right|top|texttop|middle|absmiddle|baseline|botto
> >                 m|absbottom>

> >         <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.
> >                 
If the size is given different,y is the image scaled to fit?  That's neat.

> >         <IMG BORDER=value>

Again, look at Tk -- you want DECOR="sunken|raised|none|shadow|border" perhaps.

> >         <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. 
Don't you need separate controls for left/right/top/bottom?
       
> >    <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.

This makes sense.  How does the draft HTML 3.0 do this?

    
> > 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
that's fine...  Better might be
	<KEEP TYPE="line|word"> to allow a header to be kept together with
the 3 following paragraphs (say).


> >    <WBR>
> >           The WBR element stands for Word BReak.

As described, this should be an entity "&wbr;" -- however, an empty element
is good if it has attributes:
	<WBR HYPHEN="">
	<WBR HYPHEN="/">
etc. has some merit.

          
> >    <FONT SIZE=value>
> >           Surprise! You can change the font size. 

This should only allow relative changes, either by proportion or by amount,
to the containing element.  E.g.
	<P size="12">....... <Font size="+3">bigger</Font>...</P>

I am not sure how a text-only or Braille client should render this.

> The default basefont is 3
I can't read a 3-point text, what is really meant by this number??

       
> >    <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.

No.  Please reject this.
There is no use for this as well as <FONT Size="value">.

           
> >    <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.

I am not convinced.  Not even slightly.
> >           
> > 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.

That's fine.

[... Netscape bug fixes deleted...]

> > New Entities
> > 
> >    In addition to the [1]usual & escaped entities:
> >    &reg; -> Registered Trademark -> &reg;
> >    &copy; -> Copyright -> &copy;

These are fine, taken from isonum ("ISO 8879-1986//ENTITIES Numeric and
Special Graphic//EN").  The other entries should be added, along with
the rest of IS 8859-1.


I suspect that posting this in the wrong place was so that MCom could turn
around and say that they submitted it to the standards group and were
ignored, but perhaps I'm being more cynical than I need to be -- the Netscape
Communications Inc (as they were renamed this week) staff are perfectly
reasonable in person, if sometimes argumentative :-)  At any rate, discussion
of 2.1 needs to go in html-wg; I've responded here because I don't see this
proposal as having been aimed at the HTML WG yet.

Lee

-- 
Liam Quin, Manager of Contracting, SoftQuad Inc +1 416 239 4801 lee@sq.com
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