Re: deprecated tags in Wilbur & Cougar -Reply

Matt Heffron (
Thu, 01 Aug 1996 14:28:08 -0700

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: deprecated tags in Wilbur & Cougar -Reply 
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Thu, 01 Aug 1996 20:28:26 +0200."
Date: Thu, 01 Aug 1996 14:28:08 -0700
From: Matt Heffron <>

>In article <>,
>Paul Prescod <> wrote:
>> At 12:32 PM 8/1/96 +0200, Arnoud "Galactus" Engelfriet wrote:
>> >It's similar to using <SPAN CLASS=phonenumber> and then specifying how
>> >it should be displayed in the style sheet, rather than having a standard
>> ><PHONE> element, which the browser can display/render/dial/stuff-in-a-
>> >phone-book any way it likes.
>> It doesn't really matter whether you do it in CLASS or with an element. The
>> important thing is that it be _standardized_. We should standardize CLASS
>> sets just as we standardize entity and elemenet sets.
>That would only partially solve the problem. By putting information
>about the *contents* of marked-up text in a style sheet, you're
>actually lessening the power HTML can offer.
>Style sheets are for layout.
>HTML elements are for contents.
I agree that HTML elements are for STRUCTURE of the document contents.
I hope it is clear that we don't need/want a new tag for each new ROLE
that some part of a document plays in the document as a whole.

(Heaven forbid that lawyers create new tags for every type of information

The tags would explode exponentially as EVERY field that has it's own
types of information in a document would be creating new tags.

There are SOME relatively universal document structures, and significant
roles that need their own tags.  Some, like <B>, <I>, (and perhaps <U> which
started this whole thread) must continue for a long time for backward

Using tags such as DIV and SPAN with CLASS attributes does not preclude
indexers from using the CLASS info to build smart indices.  There
could/should be some "standard" CLASSes that are defined a-priori (e.g. your
"phonenumber" class from above).  Otherwise, let each field define their own
standard classes for their documents and define a standard style sheet for
the "default" rendering of those documents.  The proliferation of tags will
slow to a crawl (hopefully) and the "my browser has the <FOO> tag and yours
doesn't" wars (akin to the playground "my dad can beat-up your dad"
arguments) will be silenced.

Matt Heffron            
Beckman Instruments, Inc.         voice: (714) 961-3128
2500 N. Harbor Blvd. MS X-10, Fullerton, CA 92634-3100
I don't speak for Beckman Instruments (or CRFG) unless they say so.