HTML and the future

Dylan Northrup (northrup@chuma.cas.usf.edu)
Thu, 27 Oct 1994 10:20:07 -0400 (EDT)


Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 10:20:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Dylan Northrup <northrup@chuma.cas.usf.edu>
To: Multiple recipients of list <www-html@www0.cern.ch>
Subject: HTML and the future
In-Reply-To: <941022115401.b88f@JUNCOL.JUNIATA.EDU>
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.941027094013.18428D-100000@chuma>

I once was one uniniated in the ways of SGML and structured languages.  I 
thought <h1> meant "Text is really realy big and bold".  I though 
<address> just meant "use italics".  And it was good.

When Mozilla came out I was happy.  "Now I can center text" I said.  "Now 
I can alter individual letter sizes" I cackled.  And it was good.

Then I heard a clamour.  There were people who didn't like these new 
features.  I was aghast!  How could these heathens not like this mana.  
Had they finally went looney from staring at their screens too long?  Had 
they been damned forever for not using the one true editor, vi?  Had they 
been banished from the land of milk and honey for using the accursed 
"HTML editors" which were worthless and slow and whose only benefits were 
to allow people to code HTML without knowing what HTML was?

Then I listened to their words and thought upon their meaning.  
"<center></center> is a bad thing because it offers no logical content."  
"Using semantic markup allows portability between browsers."

And hearing these words, I became very nervous as the realisation that 
all was indeed not good sank in.  And I did begin to wonder and begin to 
search for the fable tomes which spake of wonderous things such as SGML 
and semantic markup and logical definitions and other words which I did 
not understand but which I realised had a magical quality.  And it was 
better.  Not god, but better.

And I did think upon these beautiful things that I had seen and these 
wonderful places I had gone and an idea formed in my mind.  To whit:

"Why not embed presentation hints inside of the logical markups?"

Now, as soon as I said these words, I knew that I was not the first to 
think of it and I was onoy echoing what had gone before.  However, the 
beautiful simplicity of <P ALIGN="center"> compared to the base 
hideousness of <CENTER></CENTER> was apparent.  And it was good.

And verily did I say "Can't we all just get along?" and imagined such 
things as <H1 size=+2> (and the size tag of course would be ignored on 
browsers not supporting the size tag) and <HR align="center"> and other 
wondrous ideas whose implementation I am not worthy to contemplate.  And 
it was good.

And so I drafted this text so that you, the assembled could gaze upon it 
and I would ask in the fashion of Bill Maher "Does anybody have a problem 
with *that*?"

And it was good?

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* 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:
-----------------------
"Well, after all, no one knows exactly what you look like.  That makes 
  some people nervous."
'Good.'
  -- Sinclair and Kosh, "Grail"