Re: Spyglass HTML Validator 1.0 Availability

David Perrell (davidp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 20:03:11 -0700


Message-Id: <199610180312.UAA21245@iceland.it.earthlink.net>
From: "David Perrell" <davidp@earthlink.net>
To: "F. E. Potts" <fepotts@fepco.com>, <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Cc: <www-html@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Spyglass HTML Validator 1.0 Availability
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 20:03:11 -0700

F. E. Potts wrote:
...
> Paul says it the way it is -- the current UAs are truly primitive in
> the way they handle good-quality text documents.  It's like the
> difference between a really fine paper presentation of text
(Goldfarb's
> book from the Oxford University Press comes to mind, sticking close
to
> the subject :-) vs. some sleezy paperback which can hardly be read
even
> when new.  There really is a lot more to text presentation and format
> than plain ASCII.  It would be nice is something could be done about
> this.

MS has publicly committed to both CSS1 and 'Frame-based Layout via
Stylesheets'[1]. Last I heard, there was work being done to allow fonts
to accompany documents. Together, these enhancements would allow you to
specify much of the presentation with relative precision. Given the
nature of the medium, I think 'specify' is the most you can do. Not
everyone can afford fine hardcover editions of books, and not everyone
will have the high-res, big-screen, true-color displays needed to
portray a semblance of quality printed matter (and those who do will
not be able to take it to bed with them).

With both CSS1 and frame-based layout evolving under auspices of the
W3C, can Netscape and other graphical UA makers simply ignore them or
roll their own? Let's hope not.

IMHO, the 'browser wars' have turned positive. Remember that Navigator
is still the #1 browser, and Netscape's solution to every user request
for more control of presentation has been a new HTML tag, often
entirely inconsistent with previous tags and unnecessarily limited in
scope. It took MS's embrace of CSS1 to shift the presentation focus
away from HTML tags.

You crave full SGML. Could anyone hope for full SGML on a web-wide
scale while the major UA supplier scoffs at DTDs?

David P

[1] <http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/TR/WD-layout.html>