Re: <insert> and external entity references

Abigail (
Wed, 20 Mar 1996 02:03:12 +0100 (MET)

From: Abigail <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: <insert> and external entity references
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 1996 02:03:12 +0100 (MET)
In-Reply-To: <v02110100ad74b6aa1fee@[]> from "Murray Altheim" at Mar 19, 96 06:58:54 pm

Murray Altheim wrote:
++ This would really be the big change: not using HTML as the base language of
++ the Web. We'd use SGML (MIME type "text/sgml; level=1|2|3|4"), allowing the
++ DOCTYPE of the document to determine the DTD, just as in SGML. That DOCTYPE
++ could simply specify a dialect of HTML for the current majority of web
++ documents.

I have heard this many times, yet I see problems noone has given
me an answer to. HTML certainly is more than just a grammer.
Search engines can index a document properly _because_ there
is an implicit meaning to <TITLE>, that <H1> is more important
than <H6>, that <STRONG> is used for something else than <B>, etc.

But in the DTD, <H1> and <H6> have interchangeable roles;
<STRONG> and <B> have the same context and the same content;
<TITLE> is just something which appears in the <HEAD>.

<A>, <IMG>, <INPUT> have side effects which aren't set in the DTD.

If each document comes with its own DTD, then what? A user agent
knows how to parse it, but how should it be displayed? Of course,
authors could be required to deliver a style sheet as well, but
they have to include everything, as there cannot be user agent
defaults to fall back on. And what about user preferences? How
is a user supposed to set preferences, if each document can have
unknown elements?


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