Re: HTML 3.2 PR

Paul Prescod (
Sat, 16 Nov 1996 03:59:34 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 03:59:34 -0500
To: "Carl Morris" <>,
From: Paul Prescod <>
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR

At 08:54 PM 11/15/96 -0600, Carl Morris wrote:
>Lets get one thing right here right now.  SGML is not required for

HTML *is* SGML. It is impossible to properly parse HTML documents without
reference to the SGML standard.

>I do acknowledge that it is ideal to insure than an SGML
>parser can process HTML is HTML is SGML, but saying so does not require
>an HTML parser to use SGML semantics.  As you should note, many do not!
>(which is actually bad because they are so buggy when it comes down to
>simple SGML rules)..

That is like suggesting that in this mailing list we are going to use a
subset of English, but not necessarily English semantics for words.

>I do not however like the idea of the <!DOCTYPE> suggestion nor the
>content type suggestion.  HTML 3 is just as viewable on an HTML 1.0
>browser as is any other.  

Certainly. But it is 

 a) not clear that this will always be the case (i.e. HTML 4.0 will be
viewable on an HTML 1.0 browser)

 b) clear that other non-HTML tagged data formats will become common on the
Web (look at W3Cs Technical Reports page)

 c) always better for a user agent to have more information, instead of
less, on the author's intended meaning of the document. Did they want to use
Netscape's EMBED tag, or W3Cs, for example?

>Requiring <!DOCTYPE> is also "requiring" SGML
>processing unless you will agree that to an HTML parser, <!> is a
>comment, or otherwise worthless.  

An HTML parser has the option of ignoring <!...>. That does not make it a
comment. If it were a comment, <! This is a comment > would be valid (which
it is not).

>To an author, its a completely
>different story, but I still don't want to be forced to put such
>declarations, just like I don't want to be forced to TITLE everything I
>write (I always hated that in School, now the rest of the world seems
>to think we should!)

Life is hard. Metadata is necessary.

 Paul Prescod
Boycott Shell Oil worldwide!    

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