Re: New HTML 3.2 reference available

Daniel W. Connolly (
Mon, 19 Aug 1996 21:30:28 -0400

Message-Id: <>
To: (Arnoud "Galactus" Engelfriet)
Subject: Re: New HTML 3.2 reference available 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Wed, 14 Aug 1996 20:53:54 +0200."
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 21:30:28 -0400
From: "Daniel W. Connolly" <>

In message <>, Arnoud "Galactus" Engelfriet w
>It is, to my knowledge, the most complete overview of HTML 3.2. Based
>on the Wilbur DTD, but presented in a human-readable way. I also include
>notes on usage and limitations.
>Please let me know what you think of it. The URL is
>              <URL:>

It's great to see this sort of thing out there. I'd like to see
the community maintain this sort of thing actively.

If I had my druthers, we'd have all the following, complete,
synchronized, and reviewed. And available in lots of formats,
including postscript suitable for printing and selling as a book!

* HTML intro (ala NCSA document)
* Styleguide for Online Hypertext by TimBL
	implemented/enforced by something like weblint
* HTML 3.2 DTD
	* validation service
	* and GUI validation TOOLS!
* reference documentation ala Arnoud's work
* Quick reference ala barebones
* test suite (ala browsercaps) with "public humiliation" factor for vendors
* WD-sgml-lex for lexical details, along with some more source
	code -- maybe gridtext module from linemode browser,
		or the relavent lynx code, or a Q&D reference
		implementation using Tk

Here's my input on the htmlhelp 3.2 reference:

* Take the stuff about "Netscape introduced new tags and attributes
  with every new version" out. It doesn't serve much.

* Change W3 Committee -> W3 Consortium

* HTML 3.0 wasn't produced by the consortium, but by Dave Raggett
	and the HTML working group of the IETF

* I'd prefer that Wilbur not appear anywhere in the text. Just
	HTML 3.2, thank you.


* Example document doesn't have <address>. The <link rel=made>
	thingy is OK, but the signature is more important.
	(see the StyleGuide for Online Hypertext)

* "so-called" doctype declaration? What's "so-called" about it?

* "The head section can for example include the TITLE"
	can -> must

* "There are many possible META statements"
	statements -> constructs
		or something like that

* "Some editors incorrectly insert another BODY statement for each new
attribute you want to add to the body, but this can have unexpected
side-effects (such as some of the attributes getting ignored

	separate this sort of thing out into a "NOTE"

*  In here, tags can be grouped in two distinct groups: block level
  and text level tags
	tags -> elements

* separate section for list elements (ol,ul,dl,li,...)

* "These tags (more formally called elements) "

Tags and elements are different. This may mislead folks into
thinking _element_ is just a fancy name for tag.

Overview (H1, for example)

* Change "Caveats" to "Notes"


* The optional ALIGN attribute controls the alignment of the
	header. LEFT is the default.

	There is no default. I know of several web browsers
	where H1's are centered by default.

* "Right alignment is not as widely supported as centered."
	Put that in a NOTE or something. Be sensitive to things
	that change with time.

*  <!> is actually the empty comment. (See WD-sgml-lex)

* This page should have all sorts of NOTES that clear up popular
	misconceptions and point out browser bugs.
		(we should cross-reference browser bugs to test cases)

* "The tag should contain only CSS1 statements."
	the style element can be used for any stylesheet language.
	the <style> element has a required TYPE attribute to
	delare the MIME type of the stylesheet.

Web Design Group pages:

	<dt><b>What is the WDG?</b>
	<dd>The Web Design Group is made up of experienced HTML authors that have banded together in the hopes of providing guidance and instruction to Web authors at all stages of development.

	<dt><b>Who is the Web Design Group?</b>


Use a stylesheet to get this effect, not multiple DLs!

That's all for now!