Re: ISO and HTML

Dave Carter (
Wed, 2 Apr 1997 11:40:26 +0100 (BST)

Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 11:40:26 +0100 (BST)
From: Dave Carter <>
To: Jukka Korpela <>
cc: Paul Prescod <>,
Subject: Re: ISO and HTML
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.94.970402113432.23862J-100000@cass40>

On Wed, 2 Apr 1997, Jukka Korpela wrote:

> On Fri, 28 Mar 1997, Paul Prescod wrote:
> > ISO is not competing with the W3C or IETF. They are
> > validating W3Cs efforts in an international forum.
> If they are, why does
> list 29 (twenty-nine) differences between the HTML ISO proposal
> and the HTML 3.2 specification?
> Some of the differences are irrelevant or something which
> might well be adopted as clarifications to HTML 3.2 (simply
> by an announcement from W3C, for example, or by changing
> the 3.2 spec). But some of them are really strange like
> making CENTER element illegal, requiring that CENTRE be
> a recognized alternative spelling to CENTER (as an attribute
> value), and removing DIR and MENU since are "simply
> sugared syntax for the <UL> element" (i.e. because implementors
> have been lazy, implementing them using the same code as for UL).

What is strange about any of that??? It has been clear for a long
time that CENTRE should be an attribute to a block level element
and that <CENTER> was only included in 3.2 to appease Netscape.
CENTRE is the correct spelling where I come from, why should I be
penalised for using it. This is an advantage of having a proper
international body define standards, not an ad-hoc one from one
particular country that thinks it knows it all. 

> And some of them are good ideas in themselves, like sectioning
> elements, but involve a _fundamental_ change in the language.
> The same applies to miscellaneous ingredients picked up from
> HTML 3.0 and other earlier drafts.

Why then not put <MATH> back in. This is a requirement of many of
us. Its absence is the main reason that 3.2 is inadequate. 

> Basically because we have a working standard now which is
> sufficiently exact. Creating a more formal ISO standard
> inevitably means that some things will be changed, causing
> confusion. The standard would come out in a phase when we
> should be working on carefully improving the HTML language
> instead of discussing nuances of a specification which
> summarizes the common basis of HTML implementations as of
> early 1996.

Exact, but inadequate.

Dave Carter