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

Subir Grewal (subir@crl.com)
Sat, 8 Feb 1997 09:47:12 -0800 (PST)


Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 09:47:12 -0800 (PST)
From: Subir Grewal <subir@crl.com>
To: HTML Discussion List <www-html@w3.org>
Subject: Re: New tags. (fwd) -Reply (fwd)
In-Reply-To: <Pine.SUN.3.95L.970206162158.23235A-100000@inibara.cc.columbia.edu>
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.95.970208093425.5874D-100000@crl3.crl.com>

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.  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.  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.

AFAIK there is no move to make a Cougar RFC, so I don't know what standard
is being talked about here.  I believe the appropriate term is "W3C
recommendation".  The real question we have to face is that HTML 3.0
provided a great deal of functionality (and generally in a cleaner manner
than the various Netscape'isms and MSIE'isms that seek to do similar
things) and found a quiet grave (the sin was of omission, in that HTML 3.0
was never taken forward and lapsed, not one of comission). So what gives? 
Why wasn't banner implemented when it makes so much more sense than FRAME? 

:Given this lack of support, HTML 3.0 shares the disadvantages of Netscape
:and MSIE `HTML' -- It's tied to a particular browser.

There is of course a slight difference, and it's probably only in the
different ways we have of thinking about these things.  I wouldn't say
HTML 3.0 is more than a "non-standard sxtension to HTML" simply because
someone other than Netscape and MSIE proposed it.  The W3C does not
legitimize everything it touches, they certainly don't function as the
supreme interpreters of the word of the web, HTML.  Nor are they the
ultimate source of HTML orthodoxy.  The reason HTML 3.0 seems to me a
more than the non-standard extension you claim it is, is because its
outlook is very open, containing support structures for a variety of
different environments.  Certainly, some things in HTML 3.0 will be done
in an even better manner, OBJECT for instance superceeds FIG (not to say
that we couldn't have both), but a lot of things, it seems to me, will be
implemented with a very narrow outlook (partly because they're proposed by
a particular browser manufacturer).  HTML 3.0 has a much broader outlook.

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