Re: Internationalized CLASS attributes

Joe English (joe@trystero.art.com)
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 13:47:01 PDT


Message-Id: <9610172047.AA29641@trystero.art.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Internationalized CLASS attributes
In-Reply-To: <96Oct17.095015bst.38615(3)@u-net.net>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 13:47:01 PDT
From: Joe English <joe@trystero.art.com>


Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com> wrote:

> What we really need is something, like the RFCs relating to REV and REL,
> which suggest a set of useful class names that could be applied by anyone,
> irrespective of their country of origin. Admittedly most people would not
> then be able to use their native language to name such transportable
> classes, but the up-side would be that they would be able to identify
> information of the class they require without having to search for all the
> possible names for the class.


I don't think we really need this.  "A set of useful class
names that could be applied by anyone" is very nearly the
same thing as "a set of useful element types that could be
applied by anyone" -- in other words, a one-size-fits-all DTD,
and we know that those don't work.

What would be useful is *several* collections of useful class
names that could be used by *individual communities* (and style sheets,
processing utilities, query engines, etc. to go along with each one.)

I strongly believe that the CLASS namespace should belong solely
to the author of the document.  "Standardized" collections of class names
would be useful, but HTML user agents must not interpret any CLASS
attribute value in a predefined manner unless there is an explicit
declaration in the document (a PI for instance) that it should do so.

For example: If I wrote a Web page about HTML that contains the sentence:

    The <span class="element">P</span> element denotes a paragraph.

I would be most unhappy if the next release of MSIE turned it
into a hyperlink to "Potassium" in the Periodic Table because 
some chemist wrote an RFC.


--Joe English

  jenglish@crl.com