Message-Id: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 30 Sep 1996 20:01:44 -0500 To: Foteos Macrides <MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU> From: email@example.com (Murray Altheim) Subject: Re: Using your own DTD (was Re: %flow and headers and address) Cc: Peter Flynn <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com Foteos Macrides <MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU> writes: >firstname.lastname@example.org (Murray Altheim) wrote: >>Foteos Macrides <MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU> writes: >>[...] >>> I was assuming that Peter would offer his composite DTD for >>>public discussion by all interested persons, and would amend it >>>toward some consensus of what would be most useful to as many of >>>those interested persons as possible, as well as making his own >>>judgements based on his expertise in SGML. >>[...] >>> A lot of what will be "restored" in it was designed to >>>degrade gracefully for clients which do not support it. But >>>using it is presently problematic with respect to validation >>>if you also use markup developed since, and not in, the (expired) >>>HTML 3.0 DTD. >> >>If you guys > > What's this "you guys"??!!?? It should be discussed and >refined by everyone who has in interest in it. That includes you, >too, doesn't it? Well, I meant that a little tongue-in-cheek. There's a certain irony for me in anyone trying to create a "standard" HTML DTD anymore, given W3C's gradual movement into the role of "standards body" (as defined commonly in the press, the industry, etc.). I sometimes wonder if you and I and a few others around here aren't all sitting on a large mushroom with a hookah, and just don't realize it. I feel I'm certainly in the minority in continuing to look at the IETF as the only relevant standards body for the Internet (well, including ISO, ANSI, etc. as appropriate.) There's a difference between a standards body and a vendor consortium that wants to be a standards body, but that seems to be a rather muddy distinction for some. OTOH, an "fully-SGML-functional" Web would allow all manner of DTDs, so use of a non-standard HTML DTD is fine by me. It's just hard to get anyone outside of one's organization to use a common DTD if there's no weight behind it (witness the already-successful W3C "HTML 3.2", even though it's not yet finalized). And we're *still* a little premature in expecting browsers to actually pay attention to DOCTYPE. >> decide to go off and rebuild the world outside of W3C, you >>should at least consider what you're doing as a/the possible proposal you'd >>submit to the IETF in reopening an HTML working group. Then the product of >>what you're working on would actually become (theoretically, at least) a >>recognized standard. Hey, and you might get participation by a lot of >>people willing to provide valuable feedback (such as Earl). > > It might be better to take one step at a time. What's clearly >needed is a composite DTD that includes and coordinates what has already >been formally proposed and/or implemented in at least one client. That >includes essentially everything in the (expired) HTML 3.0 DTD, and a lot >more at this point. Up until this Spring, Glenn Adams and I here at Cambridge Spyglass NEE Stonehand maintained an "HTML 2.X" DTD, which was just such a DTD. We haven't (since purchase by Spyglass) had the priority on maintaining it, so it is no longer current (no frames, for example). Oh, it never did math, although I did have an internal version at one point with the math from 3.0 as a module. I have made the modules of the modular 2.0 DTD (which is functionally identical to RFC 1866) available, so if Peter wanted to use that as a basis, I'd be happy to lend what time I have available in assisting his use of that material. I believe that would be much preferred to creating a monolithic DTD, as then public submission of DTD fragments would be much simplified, and given that James Clark's (no, not the Netscape James Clark) latest SP code allows for URLs in the right side of a catalog file, the DTD could even be created on the fly from modules on disparate servers. One of the long-term failings of the initial HTML standards effort may have been the belief that a single HTML specification could provide all the functionality needed by various users of the Web (if anyone ever believed that). I think it was the Balkanization article that best pointed out that there is more than one audience for this technology, and that the efforts of the W3C, being closely tied to the vendors, won't necessarily provide the functionality needed by the academic, arts, scientific, etc. communities. This is one avenue that I hope a new working group would attempt to ameliorate. Murray ``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` Murray Altheim, Program Manager Spyglass, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts email: <mailto:email@example.com> http: <http://www.cambridge.spyglass.com/murray/murray.html> "Give a monkey the tools and he'll eventually build a typewriter."