Re: Structure vs. appearance in HTML

Joe English (jenglish@crl.com)
Thu, 21 Sep 1995 12:01:09 -0700


Message-Id: <199509211901.AA20522@mail.crl.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Structure vs. appearance in HTML 
In-Reply-To: <199509211632.MAA06408@postman.osf.org> 
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 12:01:09 -0700
From: Joe English <jenglish@crl.com>


Stavros Macrakis <macrakis@osf.org> wrote:

> I agree that structure is important, but only if you can do something
> with it.  So far, I am not aware of any Web tools that actually DO
> anything useful/interesting/amusing with HTML structure.  (Well, OK,
> some not-very-well-known browsers do do holophrasting.)
>
> For that matter, HTML doesn't really _have_ that much usable
> structure.

True, but it's got enough to do a *few* useful things:

    * Build a table of contents from <Hn>eadings
    * Spell-check the document, but skip stuff inside
      <CODE>, <SAMP>, <KBD>, <VAR>, and <PRE>
    * Build a "graph" of all the hypertext links in a collection
      of documents, listing the anchor text of each link
    * Automatically convert it to Braille
    * Build a full-text search index for a collection of documents
    * Build a keywords-based search index, giving higher weight
      to keywords, emphasized phrases, and stuff in headings

And let's not forget:

    * Render it on just about any output device, with reasonably
      good results.

This last is something that few other text markup languages
have been able to accomplish.


--Joe English

  jenglish@crl.com