Re: a good idea (fwd)

MegaZone (
Mon, 15 Jul 1996 19:27:45 -0700 (PDT)

Message-Id: <>
Subject: RE: a good idea (fwd)
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 19:27:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: MegaZone <>

Once upon a time Erik Aronesty shaped the electrons to say...
>I could care less about SGML rules.....

Then you'll find not many people are going to take you too seriously, and
your idea will never make it to the standard.  The W3C seems fairly clear on
its intent of keeping HTML a subset of SGML.

>because nearly ALL existing browsers WORK with it --- which is the
>ENTIRE point here.  DTD's or no, its a decent, usable idea.

No it is NOT the entire point here.  And since I made that comment at least
two people have pointed out browsers that it won't work in, or ones it
works *differently* in.  So it is not a valid option.  'Nearly all' is not
acceptable, we should be looking for 'all compliant' browsers.  If a browser
decided to do something outside of the standard, that should not be the
concern of those setting the next standard.  But this will not work in all
browsers that *do* meet the current standard, breaking browsers (not to
mention scores of WILDLY POPULAR AND WIDELY USED TOOLS) that have made the
effort to write to spec is unacceptable behavior unless a very, very strong
argument can be made showing why other options are unworkable.  And since
we have had a number of other options already, the argument is invalid.

>Maintaining HTML as a subset of SGML is not a goal of the WG charter NOR
>is it a goal of W3.  If we head off vendors with ideas that are easy to
>implement, parse and author... and ideas that work with existing
>browsers..... somebody might listen......(personally I believe the
>vendors are listening).

Are you reading the same W3 info I am - doesn't sounf like it?  And are you
talking to vendors?  I've talked to people form Softquad, Netscape, and
MS - *ALL* of them stated that they view SGML as the future direction for
the web development.  If we deviate from SGML you will *break* a great
many tools - editors, parsers, checkers, and some browsers that all rely
on SGML.  And you LOSE a LOT of growth potential inherent in SGML - Talking
to Sun (another group that looks at SGML as there direction to go in) 
HotJava has the ability to parse random DTDs.  They are working on its
extensibility to allow for greated flexibility in that regard.

SGML is a *proven* basis - don't be so quick to toss it out.

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