Re: Digressions (was: Footnotes)

Murray Altheim (
Wed, 1 May 1996 10:32:54 -0500

Message-Id: <v02110101adad3225f2ee@[]>
Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 10:32:54 -0500
To: Francois Stragier <>
From: (Murray Altheim)
Subject: Re: Digressions (was: Footnotes)

Francois Stragier <> writes:
>Murray Altheim said:
>>     <PRE NOTATION="text/pascal">
>>       NumToStr(paramPtr, theID, IDStr);
>>       NumToStr(paramPtr, SizeResource(theResource), sizeStr);
>>       BlockMove(@theType, POINTER(ORD4(@typeStr)+1), 4);
>>     </PRE>
>> or
>>    The value <CODE NOTATION="text/pascal">paramPtr^.returnValue</CODE>
>>    gets blah blah, etc.
>I don't know SGML enough to be able to discuss the adequation of
>"NOTATION" (Daniel W. Connolly discussed about it), but I'm not sure
>that the syntax highlighting should appear in a <PRE> tag.
>If you use <PRE>, you want to be sure that the ends of line appear
>where you want. It may be worse than what a good browser could do,
>given the size of the browser's window. Indentation for example, should
>be handled by the browser...


I was responding to your proposal on using a LANG attribute on CODE, and
looking for an appropriate breaking element, since CODE is inline. Given
that PRE means 'preformatted', and that is what a code fragment might be
(whether in C, Pascal, etc.), I don't see what other element would be more
appropriate. The issue here is really choice of attribute name, and as Dan
pointed out, the existing, formal method in SGML is to declare a notation,
then use it in the document using NOTATION="whatever". The idea of using
TYPE as a shorthand only assumes that the TYPEs are understood commonly by
browsers; in reality, a NOTATION declaration would still be appropriate,
even for "text/css".

I deliberately chose 'Pascal' to point out the assumptions inherent in
using this idea. It would be a great feature if a set of stylesheets could
be developed to handle common notations (such as computer languages) and
then applied to specific PRE or CODE elements. Since you're calling this
thread 'Digressions' I thought I'd throw that in the hopper.


     Murray Altheim, Program Manager
     Spyglass, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
     email: <>
     http:  <>