Re: <math>, <fig>, ... (fwd)

Benjamin C. W. Sittler (bsittler@mailhost.nmt.edu)
Sat, 11 May 1996 14:13:22 -0600 (MDT)


Date: Sat, 11 May 1996 14:13:22 -0600 (MDT)
From: "Benjamin C. W. Sittler" <bsittler@mailhost.nmt.edu>
To: Fisher Mark <FisherM@is3.indy.tce.com>
Cc: www-html <www-html@www10.w3.org>
Subject: Re: <math>, <fig>, ... (fwd)
In-Reply-To: <3193C4EA@MSMAIL.INDY.TCE.COM>
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960511140515.20396A-100000@rust>

On Fri, 10 May 1996, Fisher Mark wrote:

> 
> >The lack of <math> is a major flaw. While <math> in html 3.0 might not be
> >perfect, it is better than nothing. And nothing is what we are left with
> >if we adopt 3.2. Lack of backwards compatability with <fig> is a major
> >flaw. Lack of style sheet support is a major flaw. You say you are doing
> >that, ok so delay the release until you have. The fact that html 3.2
> >might be accepted is its major problem, if it wasn't for this I wouldn't
> >care. The trouble is that browser developers (and I mean browser
> >developers for serious use, not mass-market) will accept it and will
> >therefore not implement, improve and extend those html 3.0 features
> >that we need.
> 
> Well, the problem is that HTML 3.0 is out there, people have coded to it, 
> ignoring the fact that it was _just a proposal_.  HTML 3.2 is an attempt to 
> get past HTML 3.0, incorporating the parts of HTML 3.0 that are settled as 
> well as some of the presentational cruft that has been added ad-hoc because 
> we haven't had stylesheets.

I would argue the same for the Netscape-style markup... it's purely
experimental (at least until the MSIE DTD and HTML 3.2) and should have
been used with no expectation whatsoever of being supported (or even
mentioned) in future versions of HTML. Unfortunately, W3C appears to be a
sell-out to its commercial backers, so they enforce experimental elements
from the large corporations as "Standard" while ignoring the (often
better-thought-out) solutions from other communities by labeling them
experimental. For a long time, MATH at least appeared in a draft, which was 
better than CENTER or FONT could say! 

W3C seems to have forgotten that commercial browser vendors are *not* the 
only ones writing new software, experimenting with new markup, and 
concerning themselves with the future direction of online information 
distribution.

I think maybe it's time for some other group to control the
standardization of HTML for serious use. 

Benjamin C. W. Sittler
   "I have great confidence in fools -- self confidence my friends call it."
                            --Edgar Allen Poe
mailto:bsittler@nmt.edu                           http://www.nmt.edu/~bsittler/