Re: DIV/CLASS

Lee Daniel Crocker (lcrocker@calweb.com)
Tue, 14 May 1996 16:34:41 -0700 (PDT)


Message-Id: <199605142334.QAA00467@web1.calweb.com>
Subject: Re: DIV/CLASS
To: www-html@w3.org
Date: Tue, 14 May 1996 16:34:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Lee Daniel Crocker" <lcrocker@calweb.com>
In-Reply-To: <199605142148.AA026890508@w3.org> from "Dave Raggett" at May 14, 96 05:48:28 pm

> This is fine for the forthcoming version of HTML which supports
> style sheets. HTML 3.2 on the other hand captures the state of
> HTML as deployed in early `96.  ID and CLASS are therefore not
> part of HTML 3.2.

With all of the noise and religious bickering here lately,
I'm generally grateful that the W3 bigwigs have stayed above
the fray for the most part, but the statement above honestly
frightens me.  I'm not such a pedant that I care about <font>
or <center>; let the folks use it, so long as I can write
what I need to.  But the statement above from someone as high
up in the scheme of things as Raggett makes me question if
W3 truly understands the needs of HTML users outside of
browsers or even the Web--or whether they care.

"The state of HTML" is not just "what browsers use".  Search
engines and conversion tools and internal documentation all
need the simple, basic, compatible, frozen, everybody-agrees
feature of <DIV CLASS="">.  I have heard not one single
objection to it.  Everybody knows what it does, it won't
conflict with anything in the works, and I need it today.
So what if the big two don't happen to use it?  Just do it.
Hell, even the big two plan to support it.  So what possible
reason is there for excluding it?  None.  Just do it!

If 3.2 were really just an encoding of current practice,
then the DTD would have disallowed SHORTTAG.  Allowing it
when nobody supports it makes validation meaningless, but
the fact that it's still there makes me think that either W3
really is thinking more than 5 minutes ahead, or else they
are even more lost and unfocused than they are accused of.