Re: HTML is declarative on purpose [was: Web neurons ]

Albert Lunde (Albert-Lunde@nwu.edu)
Fri, 31 May 1996 00:53:45 -0500 (CDT)


Message-Id: <199605310553.AA253042025@merle.acns.nwu.edu>
Subject: Re: HTML is declarative on purpose [was: Web neurons ]
To: www-html@w3.org
Date: Fri, 31 May 1996 00:53:45 -0500 (CDT)
In-Reply-To: <199605310224.DAA11751@power1.powernet.co.uk> from "John Middlemas" at May 31, 96 03:24:27 am
From: Albert-Lunde@nwu.edu (Albert Lunde)

> >>You wouldn't need applets if HTML was improved.
> >Yes, you probably would.  As soon as you give people enough power, 
> >to do simple things, they will be wanting to program whole database
> >systems in it.  
> I really don't believe you would. Any database and database handling program can be duplicated by linked HTML pages with suitable HTML extensions that allow:-
[... stuff...] 
> all automatically.
> 
> In this I am thinking that each HTML page represents one database element.
> 
> It may look like a lot but not that many extensions are needed, just the right ones (IMHO).

It may be possible... but I have doubts that it would be useful.  
A program stored in many text files,  being fetched across the network
or from file systems would have massive over-head. On another hand,
as a programming language this sounds radically _unstructured_, with
web links taking the role of "go to" statements in creating tangled code.
It could get more confused than Hypercard at its worst.

If you want a distributed computing system implemented over the web,
there's no need to make it a varient of HTML. Just define a new
MIME type, designed to do what you want cleanly, and fetch it with
HTTP. (Of course, there is Java.)  

If you don't like Java, you can define a different language and
virtual environment... but I don't see any great merit in the form
of HTML as a basis for a general-purpose programming language.

-- 
    Albert Lunde                      Albert-Lunde@nwu.edu