Cougar and backwards compatibility (was Re: SGML markup declarations for Frames)

Gerald Oskoboiny (Gerald.Oskoboiny@UAlberta.CA)
Tue, 3 Sep 1996 17:05:11 -0600 (MDT)


From: Gerald Oskoboiny <Gerald.Oskoboiny@UAlberta.CA>
Message-Id: <199609032305.RAA02320@stimpy.registrar.ualberta.ca>
Subject: Cougar and backwards compatibility (was Re: SGML markup declarations for Frames)
To: www-html@w3.org
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 1996 17:05:11 -0600 (MDT)
In-Reply-To: <9609031708.AA29719@trystero.art.com> from "Joe English" at Sep 3, 96 10:08:18 am

Joe English writes:

> Earl Hood <ehood@isogen.com> wrote:
> 
> > The Cougar DTD is lacking markup declarations for frame markup.
> > Hence here is a modified version of the DTD that includes frames
> > with associated diff.
: 
> [...] with:
> 
>     <!ELEMENT HTML O O  (HEAD, (BODY | FRAMESET)) >
> 
> it is no longer legal to omit the <BODY> start-tag,
> since the BODY element isn't contextually required anymore.
> If Cougar is to maintain backwards-compatibility
> with existing documents, FRAMESET documents will
> have to use a different document type.

Both Cougar and HTML 3.2 are already not backwards-compatible with
HTML 2.0 (and existing documents), because IMG is specifically
excluded from PRE in HTML 3.2 and higher, while it is possible
to create a valid HTML 2.0 document with IMG inside a PRE section.

> As an aside, I don't think that "backwards compatibility
> with existing documents" is a worthwhile design goal
> for Cougar; that goal is already served by the HTML 2.0
> and HTML 3.2 DTDs.  A more important goal for HTML 3.N>2
> would IMO be trying to ensure forward-compatibility
> with later versions of the standard.  This woud entail,
> among other things, mandating start- and end-tags for
> HEAD and BODY, and getting rid of HTML.Deprecated.

I agree.

I'd really like to see a version of Cougar that encourages people
to create "good" markup. If making Cougar more restrictive isn't
an option, I think it would be good to make HTML.Deprecated IGNOREd
by default and force people to *choose* to use deprecated markup,
a la:

    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML x.x Deprecated//EN">
and
    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML x.x//EN">

rather than:

    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
and
    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0 Strict//EN">

Gerald
-- 
Gerald Oskoboiny <gerald.oskoboiny@ualberta.ca>      Phone: +1-403-492-7698
Systems Analyst, Information Systems                   Fax: +1-403-492-7172
Office of the Registrar and Student Awards            University of Alberta
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