Re: <PAGE> proposal

BearHeart / Bill Weinman (
Fri, 22 Dec 1995 18:17:32 -0600

Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 18:17:32 -0600
Message-Id: <>
From: BearHeart / Bill Weinman <>
Subject: Re: <PAGE> proposal

At 06:06 pm 12/22/95 -0500, Arjun Ray wrote:
>On Fri, 22 Dec 1995, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
>> > I often use the term "Home Page" instead of "Home File" because I view an
>> > HTML URL as a page.  The scrolling behavior you described to go to the next
>> > page seems awkward.  May be a "Next" button on a browser is more
>> > A browser can use seomthing like like <LINK REL="NextPage" HREF="..."> to
>> > associate an URL with its "Next" button.  This would not require a new tag
>> > to be introduced.
>> Doesn't address the underlying problem, which is the coincidental cohesion of
>> an abstraction (scrollable display extent) with a representation (file).

>On the contrary, the <LINK> suggestion is a "solution" insofar as there 
>is a "problem". It's important to remember that HTML is an SGML 
>application: the operative concept is "document entity", i.e. everything 
>between <HTML> and </HTML>[*]. The "abstraction" is merely a roundabout way 
>of saying that rendering the document entity on certain devices could 
>require a scrolling (or paging) capability in these devices: but the 
>document entity *itself* carries no such assumption. Moreover, you don't 
>have to store the document entity in a file: you could even generate it 
>on the fly programmatically -- even from a single file:-)

   I don't see where it addresses the problem that Eric posed--that 
being the attachment of HTML to the "scrollable display" abstraction. 
The current implementation, even though it's supposedly based on a 
documentation language (SGML), has no support for non-scrollable page 
definition. What he's suggesting, and I agree, is that we disengage the 
"coincidental" tie between the representation (HTML) and the abstraction 
(scrollable displays) by carefuly and minimally extending the language 
to support a more general abstraction (paper). 

   This would extend the usefulness of HTML to include applications 
where a document needs to be available in both srollable (WWW) and 
non-scrollable (paper) versions with one source file (HTML) without the 
author having to mainatain multiple source versions of the same document. 

 * BearHeart / Bill Weinman 
 * *            * *
 * Author of The CGI Book:    * *
 * 'Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers. --Shakespeare