Re: Erm, is HTML content or presentation based?

Paul Prescod (
Sun, 06 Aug 1995 17:02:30 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 06 Aug 1995 17:02:30 -0400
To: R J Partington <>,
From: (Paul Prescod)
Subject: Re: Erm, is HTML content or presentation based?

At 07:27 PM 8/6/95 +0100, R J Partington wrote:
>Isn't HTML supposed to be content, rather than presentation, based?

Content based, yes.  Exclusively content-pure, no.

>If so, (referring to Joe English's message about the new HTML 3
>features being supported), why does HTML 3 seem to be tending toward
>the presentation-specifying `model'? I can't see how the <center>
>tag is part of a content-based document, or how

Joe wasn't discussing the <center> tag.  He was discussing the ALIGN
attribute.  There is a big difference.  You have to work pretty hard to use
the ALIGN attribute in a way that obscures the structure of a document.

>> <UL SRC="greenball.gif">
>is either. To me, these just seem like pure presentation `niceties'.

That is exactly right.  They are presentation niceties that encourage people
to use the proper HTML elements instead of throwing them away.  You have to
trade-off purity vs. ease of use.  It shouldn't be a pain in the butt to
influence the "bullets" used in your list.  Otherwise people will use a
definition list element to represent an unordered list and use an image as
the "definition term."

 Paul Prescod

Paul Prescod (