Re: A lurker speaks up...

lilley (
Tue, 2 Jan 1996 11:43:43 +0000 (GMT)

From: lilley <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: A lurker speaks up...
To: (Eric S. Raymond)
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 11:43:43 +0000 (GMT)
In-Reply-To: <> 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
> 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: 

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):

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

Hope that provides some useful pointers.

Chris Lilley, Technical Author and JISC representative to W3C 
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