Non-browser uses of HTML

Lee Daniel Crocker (lcrocker@calweb.com)
Wed, 8 May 1996 10:52:15 -0700 (PDT)


Message-Id: <199605081752.KAA28983@web1.calweb.com>
Subject: Non-browser uses of HTML
To: www-html@w3.org
Date: Wed, 8 May 1996 10:52:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Lee Daniel Crocker" <lcrocker@calweb.com>


> Is the use of HTML outside of browsers purposely ignored?

Hear, hear!

Let us not allow the W3C to forget that "current practice"
with HTML includes far more than browsers--the concerns of
editors, search engines, conversion tools, multi-format
publishing, and others are equally valid.  Search engines
in particular. While it is probably true that entertainment
uses of the Web will overwhelm educational ones, even
those sites are of no use if people can't find them when
they look. And with all of them competing for limited user
attention, the most valuable engines are those that will
return the most _useful_ hits, i.e., those based on
thorough analysis of content made possible by content-based
model of publishing.

Another example: To produce the PNG spec document in multiple
formats for distribution, we wanted to generate the source
document in a single content-based format, then create tools
to parse it and output the other formats needed.  We chose
HTML as the source format, but we had to add some special
tags of our own (in comments) for our tools to do certain
things.  We could have done it with <div class="..."> if we
wanted to, but at the time that wasn't standard.

I am considering recommending to my company that we stand-
ardize on HTML for all of our internal documents for the
same reason.  It will be easier for us to convert them to
whatever visual-based format we need, they will be easier
to search and index, and they will be directly viewable on
any computer in the building without special software. I
may have to revisit this decision if HTML continues down
the visual-based road.


----- End of forwarded message from Lee Daniel Crocker -----