Re: Netscape & New HTML

Dylan Northrup (northrup@chuma.cas.usf.edu)
Thu, 20 Oct 1994 19:18:44 -0400 (EDT)


Date: Thu, 20 Oct 1994 19:18:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: Dylan Northrup <northrup@chuma.cas.usf.edu>
Subject: Re: Netscape & New HTML 
To: Multiple recipients of list <www-html@www0.cern.ch>
In-Reply-To: <199410201850.NAA26535@imagine.convex.com>
Message-Id: <Pine.3.87.9410201944.D2717-0100000@chuma>

On Thu, 20 Oct 1994, Earl Hood wrote:

> >       <h1 align=center>This is a H1 heading</h1>
> > 
> > I presume one would also write
> > 
> >       <p font=10pt Helvetica with 2 pt leading>Some text</p>
> 
> No, since it is illegal SGML :-)

And also takes the ability of the client user to select how they want the 
documents to be presented (i.e. large fonts, all courier (stupid I'll 
grant, but who knows), etc.)

> I find no problem in attributes/elements that provide display
> independent formating hints: eg.  alignment, justification, <BR>, <HR>,
> etc.  Many popular DTDs have some formatting based attributes.
> However, some formatting information is not display independent: fonts,
> letting, kerning, etc.  For HTML, I would not like to see this kind of
> information added.

Hear, hear!

> > I'm glad HTML will express only the logical structure of a document,
> > and not be a formatting language.  If HTML were a formatting language,
> > it would have to include all those nasty features that are needed to
> > format real documents, and people might start asking embarrassing
> > questions--like why invent a new formatting language when perfectly
> > adequate ones already exist?
> 
> I've stated this myself a couple of times before.  Nothing prevents
> developers of WWW clients to support other document languages
> explicitly like PostScript, PDF, TeX, etc.

Why not just add the functionality on to HTML.  For an HTML coder, it is 
much easier to learn a few more commands than to learn a whole new 
language (Besides, the mere thought of learning PostScript or TeX without 
having to is enough to make me have nightmares).

<disclaimer>I do HTML code.  I've seen DTDs.  I don't understand DTDs.  I 
am unfamiliar with SGML and know not the relation betwixt HTML and SGML
</disclaimer>

As an HTML coder of no small ego, I consider myself as close to an expert 
on it as there is (at least here on campus).  Let me tell you what I like 
about moz...er...netscape's additions.

	ability to center text
	ability to change size of individual characters (Didn't know how nice 
		this would be until I saw it)
	ability to change the size of <HR>s
	ability to show .jpg files inline (woefully missing in Xmosaic)

These additions are welcome and I salute MCC for taking the initiative in 
what has been a long, drawn out arguement that makes watching grass grow 
seem exciting.

A couple of things they need to work on:

	Getting text to flow around pictures
	Allowing pictures as backgrounds.
	JIS/Shift-JIS support.

Maybe more that slips my mind at the present, but this is what I as a 
coder would like.  I don't care about standards as long as the language 
does what I want it to do.

Standards are nice and will help to make HTML more powerful in the 
future, but if we sit around and bicker and argue about ooo killed ooo . 
. . er . . . what we should include, then it will already be the future 
and we'll still be left with what we had.

*****************************************************************************
* Dylan Northrup <northrup@chuma.cas.usf.edu> * PGP and Geek Code available *
***********************************************   via WWW and upon request  *
* Will code HTML for food *  KIBO #7  * <http://www.cas.usf.edu/dylan.html> * 
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----------------------- 
Random Babylon 5 Quote:
-----------------------
"Narns, Centauri, humans...we all do what we do for the same reason:
  because it seems like a good idea at the time."
  -- G'Kar (to Sakai), "Mind War"