Re: A lurker speaks up...

lilley (lilley@afs.mcc.ac.uk)
Tue, 2 Jan 1996 11:43:43 +0000 (GMT)


From: lilley <lilley@afs.mcc.ac.uk>
Message-Id: <475.9601021143@afs.mcc.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: A lurker speaks up...
To: esr@locke.ccil.org (Eric S. Raymond)
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 11:43:43 +0000 (GMT)
Cc: www-html@w3.org
In-Reply-To: <199512220330.WAA07390@locke.ccil.org> from "Eric S. Raymond" at Dec 21, 95 10:30:40 pm

Eric S. Raymond says:

> I've been watching the traffic on this list for about three weeks now, and I
> fear I understand less than I did when I came in.
> 
> What is the state of HTML standardization?  

Confusing, but getting there.

> Is there, anywhere, a list of all the tags in the known universe with 
> provenances and compatibility information attached?


I am unaware of a complete list; tracking all the wild and wacky 
vendor extensions, which tend to be porrly documented if at all, would 
be a considerable task.

>  Is there an RFC,
> ISO or ANSI process converging on some description of an HTML standard,
> or levels of standardization?

Yes. The World Wide Web Consortium, W3C, is a vendor-neutral body which is
swiftly working towards developing a well described HTML definition. See

  http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/MarkUp/
 
> It seems that HTML itself mirrors the web -- incredibly rich, but maddeningly
> difficult to pin down when you're looking for specifics.  If I were to build
> a browser or authoring tool, how would I know what to implement and when to
> stop?

Well that would depend on your level of resources. But implement the HTML 2.0 
specification in full and add powerful error recovery as a minimum requirement.

After that, I would suggest implementing tables, file upload, and
internationalisation, plus support for inline PNG and pJPEG. See:

http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/TR/WD-tables.html
http://www.ics.uci.edu/pub/ietf/html/rfc1867.txt
ftp://www.ics.uci.edu/pub/ietf/html/draft-ietf-html-i18n-02.txt
http://www.alis.com:8085/ietf/html/
http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/TR/WD-png.html
http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/jpeg-faq/faq.html 

Then if you really want to steal a march on the competition, implement the 
insert element (but be prepared to tweak, as that spec in in it's first draft):

http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/TR/WD-insert.html

Support for style sheets would be a smart move; especially for a
good authoring tool.

http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/TR/WD-css1.html
http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/TR/WD-style.html

Hope that provides some useful pointers.

-- 
Chris Lilley, Technical Author and JISC representative to W3C 
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