Re: New tags. (fwd) -Reply (fwd)

Dave Carter (
Fri, 7 Feb 1997 09:42:58 +0000 (GMT)

Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 09:42:58 +0000 (GMT)
From: Dave Carter <>
To: Subir Grewal <>
cc: HTML Discussion List <>
Subject: Re: New tags. (fwd) -Reply (fwd)
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.94.970207091127.14059C-100000@cass26>

On Thu, 6 Feb 1997, Subir Grewal wrote:

> On Thu, 6 Feb 1997, Jim Wise wrote:
> :Lots of browsers support `bits' of HTML 3.0, just like lots of browsers
> :support `bits' of any of a dozen other non-standard extension sets.
> :Granted, the existence of a strong DTD for 3.0 makes it easier to design
> :for, but with the exception of Arena, which is a dead end, the full 3.0
> :feature set is not supported anywhere.  

Not even arena supports all of html 3.0, it doesn't support <banner> for
instance. However I don't see why arena should be a dead end, its still
the most advanced graphical browser. I don't have the time or the ability
to do anything with it, but I am sure someone will.

> Lynx contains complete support for HTML 3.0 (as much as a text browser can
> anyway).

Yes, of course, and the fact that Fote can support more that Nestcape and
Microsoft combined is a tribute to his ability and dedication. 

> :In addition, due to the rejection of HTML 3.0 as a standard, it cannot be
> :expected that more browsers will be moving toward HTML 3.0 support. 
> HTML 3.0 was never "rejected", the draft expired.

If it was rejected by anyone it was rejected by browser manufacturers
rather than the user community.

> :In contrast, It is safe to assume that the features of HTML 3.2 are
> :available, or will very soon be available in just all browsers, and
> :similarly, if Cougar is standardized, it's safe to assume that it's
> :features will be very widely supported. 
> But hold on.  Why will they be supported by all browsers, and why did they
> end up in any standard.  Clearly browser authors displayed some ingenuity
> as to implementing new tags that they thought authors would like.  Authors
> responded, use became wide-spread and now a standard arrives.  Well, isn't
> this how languages work anyway?  So this is perfectly natural, and indeed
> a good thing?  I really don't have an answer to this question, except
> perhaps remarking that backward compatability and platform independence
> are more easily sacrificed by independent browser authors; while
> sufficient pressure seems to have been exerted on standards setting
> authorities to prevent this in the past.

HTML 3.2 is at the same stage that HTML 3.0 was at two years ago, except
for two things, first it is less sophisticated therefore less difficult
to implement, and second two particular manufacturers have paid W3C money
to make sure that their dross replaces some of the advanced features of
HTML 3.0. Why should browser manufacturers implement it except for two??
Others may, but they have no stake in doing so. Most browser authors have
no representation on W3C i.e. they cannot afford to pay the joining fees.
Some platforms, including a major one that I use, have no browser which
is represented on W3C. One particular danger is that W3C will recommend/
adopt a feature (such as frames), which by its nature is difficult to
implement in a cross-platform way. Not having cross-platform
compatibility may be seen as being in the commercial interest of a
particular country. For this reason I feel that the consultation process
must be wider than W3C, and must be international. ISO would provide an
appropriate framework.

Dave Carter