Re: Internationalized CLASS attributes

Abigail (
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 17:23:22 -0400 (EDT)

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Internationalized CLASS attributes
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 17:23:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Abigail" <>
In-Reply-To: <> from "Joe English" at Oct 17, 96 01:47:01 pm

Joe English wrote:
++ Martin Bryan <> 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.)

That is not what I like to see of classes. I want to say
'class=abstract', 'class=phonenumber', 'class=book-reference', and have
it understood everywhere. So that if someone wants phonenumbers to be
blinking red letters, and abtracts to be chocolate flavoured, she can
have it. But that need universal known class names. I don't want to
supply a stylesheet to force my style on the reader, of just give the
reader the choice between my style and whatever the default is.  I want
to say "here's a phone number, do whatever you want to do with it". But
how can I say that if there isn't a universal known class name for

++ 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.

Another techniek in doing so is to have all standardized class names
start with a common prefix. For instance:  <span class="$element">P</a>
would refer the RFC the chemist wrote, while <span class =
"element">P</a> uses the element found in the name space of the

Use of a prefix makes that is look up of a standardized name is done on
a case-by-case bases, a document declaration seems to have a global

Standardized collections are vital if one wants to use private style
sheets which can be applied on documents one didn't write. If class
names are not standardized, style sheets are there just for the author,
and the reader only has the ability of setting defaults for HTML