Message-Id: <199605152121.OAA01998@web1.calweb.com> Subject: Re: DIV/CLASS To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 14:21:47 -0700 (PDT) From: "Lee Daniel Crocker" <email@example.com> > > 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, [...] > > <DL COMPACT="COMPACT"> > <IMG ISMAP="ISMAP"> . . . > > browsers still don't get attribute name minimization right for things like > <P CENTER> as shorthand for <P ALIGN="CENTER">, and SP won't catch those. > . . . SHORTTAG implies those? Damn. I guess that means we have to keep it, because it's too late to back away from <DL COMPACT> now. I only wanted <B/Bold/ and <> and <!> expressly forbidden. <P CENTER> obviously should be as well. I appears, then, that the SGML DTD is inadequate for validation, and validators have to have a lot of application conventions built in to forbid things that nobody supports but that are SGML legal. That's unfortunate. While we'd all love to see browsers become SGML-based, that isn't going to happen; not now, not in the future. HTML tools will be written to parse whatever we call HTML, using their own devices. We need to specify HTML down to every byte without pointing to SGML if we expect a useful standard. Of course the face that it is in fact a subset of SGML will always be useful. While we're at it, can we solidify the hopelessly ambiguous and ill-specified comment syntax? No matter what, we're going to break some existing browsers when that one is cleared up, so we might as well pick the cleanest, easiest-to-parse (and as it happens de facto standard) syntax. I.e., begin with <!-- and end with -->, no exceptions, no weird stuff like "<! -- first comment -- bet I can break your parser! -- second comment -- >". As libertarian as I might be in real life, 8 years of hard experience with file format standards convinces me that the only ones that work are those enforced with an iron hand.