Global attributes in HTML 3

David Megginson (david@baeda.english.uottawa.ca)
Fri, 12 Jan 1996 06:23:33 -0500


Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 06:23:33 -0500
Message-Id: <199601121123.GAA03833@baeda.english.uottawa.ca>
From: David Megginson <david@baeda.english.uottawa.ca>
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Global attributes in HTML 3

(First, I'd like to introduce myself to this list briefly -- I am the
 director of the Writing Centre at the University of Ottawa and a
 specialist in medieval literature.  I have been working intensely with
 SGML since 1991, and have recently written the free SGMLS.pm package
 for converting SGML documents to other formats or to other DTDs.)

I would like to congratulate Dave Raggett and his associates on having
done a good job producing the HTML 3.0 DTD.  I have had trouble
finding a version dated more recently than 24-Mar-95, so my comments
might not be entirely appropriate now (I am also uncertain that the
date in the header is correct).

I think that the global %attr; parameter entity is an excellent idea
-- in particular, the ability to assign a class, id, and lang to
_every_ element greatly improves the value and flexibility of HTML.  I
wonder, however, why %attr; (which could usefully be renamed to
%global.attr;) does not appear in the ATTLIST's of certain elements,
including <tab>, <spot>, <form>, <overlay>, <math>, <box>, <above>,
<below>, <array>, <row>, <item>, <link>, <range>, <isindex>, <base>,
<meta>, <style>, and <html> itself.  Some of these do have some of the
global attributes (ie. id) included manually, but why not just include
%attr; by default?  While a class attribute for an <isindex> tag, for
example, might not help with stylesheets and visual presentation, it
could be useful for searching and indexing.


David

-- 
David Megginson                Department of English, University of Ottawa,
dmeggins@aix1.uottawa.ca       Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA  K1N 6N5
ak117@freenet.carleton.ca      Phone: (613) 562-5800 ext.1203
WWW: http://www.uottawa.ca/~dmeggins  FAX: (613) 562-5990