Re: deprecated tags in Wilbur & Cougar -Reply

Christopher R. Maden (crm@ebt.com)
Thu, 1 Aug 1996 22:33:08 GMT


From: "Christopher R. Maden" <crm@ebt.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 22:33:08 GMT
Message-Id: <199608012233.WAA08376@phaser.EBT.COM>
To: www-html@w3.org
In-reply-to: <199608012128.AA109504888@inet.dp.beckman.com> (message from Matt Heffron on Thu, 01 Aug 1996 14:28:08 -0700)
Subject: Re: deprecated tags in Wilbur & Cougar -Reply

Matt Heffron:
> (Heaven forbid that lawyers create new tags for every type of
> information in a legal document!  <PLAINTIFF>, <CASENUMBER>,
> <UNDERPAID_PUBLIC_DEFENDER>, <CELEBRITY_$$_DEFENDANT>, ... :-)
> 
> The tags would explode exponentially as EVERY field that has it's
> own types of information in a document would be creating new tags.

This is already happening - it's called SGML.  Lawyers could have
their own DTD!  Imagine that!!!!!!!!

SP is out there.  It's free.  IMPLEMENT IT ALREADY!  An SGML-based
browser's only limitation would be that it wouldn't handle some of the
crap that some current browsers do, and users would complain.

Preemptory response: Yes, I should do it myself.  I will.  But give me
a few more years to finish working through K&R in my copious free
time.

> 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 compability.

There is need for these, sometimes, but far FAR less than you might
think.  EBT has products called, among other things, DynaText and
DynaTag.  "Dyna" is italicized.  Not for any good reason, really, it
just is, so I use <i> for it in HTML.  I *never* use it otherwise.
There's always a reason I think it should be italicized.  Title?  Use
<cite>.  Foreign word?  Use <em>.  Variable?  Use <var>.  Ditto
boldface or underlining.

The <u> element, I think is more damaging than <i>, because it's only
shorthand for italics in the first place.  However, just as I found a
use for pure <i> in <i>Dyna</i>Web, someone else might have a use for
pure <u>, so I won't stand in its way.

If someone finds that the presentation of the document is critical
enough that the important words *must* be italicized, etc., their
documents are probably better suited for PDF.  I don't mean that in
any derogatory sense; if presentation is the primary focus, than a
page description language is what is wanted, not generic markup.

> 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.

Oh please oh please cat fud.  Maybe some day this dream will come
true.  AND IF SGML WERE USED INSTEAD OF TAG-SOUP PROCESSING, IT WOULD!
If someone needed a new tag, they could just add it!

... I'm done ranting now.

-Chris
-- 
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