Re: Take note Dan

Foteos Macrides (MACRIDES@sci.wfbr.edu)
Mon, 13 May 1996 20:21:57 -0500 (EST)


Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 20:21:57 -0500 (EST)
From: Foteos Macrides <MACRIDES@sci.wfbr.edu>
Subject: Re: Take note Dan
To: megazone@livingston.com
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <01I4O41JW1NM00E4J9@SCI.WFBR.EDU>

MegaZone <megazone@livingston.com> wrote:
>Just wanted to draw Dan's attention, here is a single technical point
>for you.  (BTW, it doesn't get said often enough - your work is appreciated.)
>
>Once upon a time Warren Steel shaped the electrons to say...
>>   But HTML still needs a block element with Captions and 
>>Credits for a broad spectrum of writing, from scientific 
>>reports to creative fiction!  If this is truly possible in
>>the new draft, I'd like to see it explained.  Otherwise, I'd
>>like to see the CAPTION and CREDIT restored to the <OBJECT>
>>draft, for text that will appear *with* the embedded image
>>or animation, not instead of it.
>
>I strongly agree with this.  As has come up recently, <OBJECT> already
>supports many of the features in the <FIG> proposal, but these two 
>important features have been left out.  After the recent discussion I
>reviewed both of the proposals and I think these two features from <FIG>
>are what is really needed to make <OBJECT> a solid replacement for it.
>Then we can lay <FIG> to rest and not have duplicated efforts.

	The features have not been left out in the sense you appear to
mean.  OBJECT (a preliminary draft, not yet indicated as open to public
discussion, and previously described here and in the the HTML-WG list
as NOT open to public discussion) is only part of the revision of
INSERT, which was intented to be a replacement of the IETF HTML-WG
EMBED draft.  OBJECT restores shaped Anchors, which the INSERT draft
lacked, and which appeared to be the consensus of what should be done
in response to criticisms of the INSERT draft in the IETF HTML-WG, but
it is still a character level container, requiring a blocking and flow
controlling container.  That container had name FIG in the INSERT draft,
and as formulated would have broken existing implementations of the HTML
3.0 FIG.
/*
**  And there ARE implementations of FIG, deployed, together with
**  a body of documents containing that markup.  The HTML 3.0 FIG
**  is a successful, deployed "experiment".
*/
The discussion in the IETF HTML-WG therefor, promply, led to apparent
consensus that the container for blocking, controlling flow, and
incorporating CAPTION and/or CREDIT, should *not* have name FIG, but
rather FIGURE (surprise! 8-), or a yet more generic BLOCK (though
BLOCK is too generic for my taste 8-).

	There is need for that container, and Dan has described it in
a recent message, with, still, FIG rather than FIGURE or BLOCK as it's
name.  ;( sigh ):

	What exactly would you be laying to rest if the HTML 3.0 FIG
were placed in direct conflict with a new FIG DTD?

	Well, for example, the OBJECT draft is designed to encompass
APPLET, but would you want to use APPLET in a new DTD which conflicts
with Sun's successful, deployed "experiment"?

	INSERT was in part aimed at eliminating any possible conflict
of the IETF HTML-WG's EMBED draft with the Netscape EMBED "experiment",
though if you read the EMBED draft you will find lengthy discussion of
all that was done to ensure compatibility and graceful degradation for
the Netscape EMBED "experiment".  A different name (i.e., INSERT, then,
or OBJECT, now) is a fail-safe way the ensure that a prior, deployed
"experiment" is not broken inadvertantly or needlessly.

	One thing you'd be laying is rest is a cherished principle
of the Web, and the Internet in general.

	If it's *really* necessary, OK.  Then it's simply a matter of
taking the FIG, OVERLAY, etc. components of the expired HTML 3.0 draft
and making them a FIGURE DTD.  Changing FIG to FIGURE in the code for
the clients which deployed the HTML 3.0 FIG would not require a great
deal of effort, nor would a global replacement of FIG with FIGURE
in all the documents currently using FIG, to the benefit and delight
of the avant-garde users of the avant-garde user agents which deployed
FIG.

	But if it is not *really* necessary, do think some more about
what you'd be laying to rest, OK?

				Fote

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