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

Paul Prescod (
Fri, 22 Mar 1996 11:04:26 -0500

Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 11:04:26 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: MegaZone <>
From: Paul Prescod <>
Subject: Re: <insert> and external entity references (fwd)

At 04:46 PM 3/20/96 -0800, MegaZone wrote:
>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 users.
>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.

How did we segue from INSERT back to STYLE? Anyhow:

The moment we put STYLEs in HTML, we will have confused the paradigm more.
If you go back to many of the first HTML authoring primers, they all express
this mix of paradigms in basically the same way:

Character Formatting

"You can code individual words or sentences with special styles. There are
two types of styles: logical and physical. Logical styles tag text according
to its meaning, while physical styles specify the specific appearance of a
section. For example, in the preceding sentence, the words ``logical
styles'' was tagged as a ``definition.'' The same effect (formatting those
words in italics), could have been achieved via a different tag that
specifies merely ``put these words in italics.'' 

Physical Versus Logical: Use Logical Styles When Possible

If physical and logical styles produce the same result on the screen, why
are there both?"

It isn't style sheets that introduce confusion. The confusion was introduced
when we put formatting in a structural language. You seem to be advocating
more of that. 

I think that learning about Style Sheets on the Web is like learning about
annunciation before you go on the radio, about smooth hand movements if you
are operating a video camera, about tasteful font usage in print. If Jane
Doe doesn't want to learn the style sheet paradigm, then she doesn't want to
know about formatting in a device-independant medium. Personally, I think
she _should_ recognize that this medium is device independent and she should
learn to take advantage of that. Some of your other messages (on the issue
of browser resizing) would indicate that you agree.

Anyhow, if it turns out that she really can't grasp device independance, she
can get tools that will help her, just as she can get tools to help her
choose her fonts in print, format her text in email and build her navigation
tools in hypertext.

 Paul Prescod