Re: <insert> and external entity references (fwd)

Fisher Mark (
Thu, 21 Mar 96 08:56:00 PST

From: Fisher Mark <>
To: www-html <>
Subject: Re: <insert> and external entity references (fwd)
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 96 08:56:00 PST
Message-Id: <3151895C@MSMAIL.INDY.TCE.COM>

MegaZone writes in <>:
>I think a very important thing to remember is that the people on this
>list and others like it tend towards the technically savy and advanced 
>It is easy for us to just say 'use a style sheet', but to Jane Doe who just
>wants to make her heading red - she isn't going to want to go learn the
>style sheet paradigm just to be able to change a line of text.  And I don't
>believe that she should have to.

I don't believe that she should either.  I _also_ don't believe that she (or 
most anyone) should be using low-level tools like emacs (without an HTML 
helper) or vi or Notepad to do serious HTML editing.  Especially now that 
the Web has been around for a little while, there are plenty of low-cost or 
free tools to remove the tedium of low-level markup.  Even advanced HTML 
writers should not have to worry about the details of stylesheets, as a 
styling UI like that of Word for Windows (or other word-processing packages) 
should handle the details, letting the writer concentrate on creating the 

We should not limit our paradigms to the simplest level (everything is a 
tag) just because HTML *can* be edited with plain-text editors.  Although 
SGML has its share of quirks, and perhaps more than its share of complexity, 
with proper (medium-to-high level) editing tools, it should be reasonably 
easy for any writer to use.  From what I understand of SGML, writing your 
own DTD (something only a small minority of writers would need to do) is 
where much of the complexity lies; just using SGML with predefined DTDs and 
stylesheets to write documents should not be much, if any, harder than using 
a word processor.
Mark Leighton Fisher                   Thomson Consumer Electronics                   Indianapolis, IN