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

Jim Wise (
Tue, 11 Feb 1997 01:29:46 -0500 (EST)

Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 01:29:46 -0500 (EST)
From: Jim Wise <>
To: Dave Carter <>
cc: Subir Grewal <>, HTML Discussion List <>
Subject: Re: New tags. (fwd) -Reply (fwd)
In-Reply-To: <Pine.GSO.3.94.970210085557.13096A-100000@cass26>
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 10 Feb 1997, Dave Carter wrote:

> Well I don't know whether W3C actually said 3.0 was a recommendation, but
> it was a draft with their endorsement. It never got submitted to IETF, and
> neither has 3.2. So I don't see the difference.

HTML 3.0 was released as a draft for review purposes.  This is the first stage
in the standardizationb process.  It never made it past this stage, and was
never accepted as a recommendation.  As has been stated elsewhere in this
thread, the IETF has discontinued it's HTML standardization efforts.  W3C
recommendations are as standard as it gets.  (And despite the name, the
recommendation process is a full standardization process, complete with
public review, something you seem to be forgetting.  You (and the rest of the
HTML community) were specifically asked for comments on the draft for 3.2
before it was put up to vote.

> No, I am asking that W3C return to its very admirable goals of two years
> ago. W3C pushed for many of the things you mention IN THE HTML 3.0 DRAFT.

Yes, and it was felt that the HTML 3.0 draft did not sufficiently address
these areas or the others it attempted to, so it was abandoned in favor
of further development, which resulted in HTML 3.2 and Cougar.

> <FIG> evolved into object. CSS1 was pioneered by W3C in Arena. <BANNER>

And <OBJECT> and CSS1 are part of Cougar, which is now in the standardization
process.  That's exactly the point...  It was felt that they were not ready
for primetime in the form they took in HTML 3.0, so they were returned for
further development.  <FIG>, as you point out, grew into <OBJECT>, and CSS1
was released as a seperate standard which will now be integrated into a
future version of HTML (Cougar, if it makes it, or else whatever is selected
in its place).

> was a superior implementation of what frames are mainly used for, now
> sadly dropped. But my main complaint is that the biggest advance of all

But I don't think <BANNER> or <FRAME> are very well thought out.

> that W3C made in HTML 3.0, <MATH>, was then dropped. And <MATH> was quite
> capable of cross-platform implementation. So 3.2 was a big step backwards,
> and Cougar a step sideways in a direction much more dictated by browser
> vendors than users. 

There is room in <OBJECT> and CSS1 for most of <MATH>.  However, if you would
prefer <MATH> as per 3.0, by all means press for this during the comment
period for Cougar.  The fact that 3.0 was rejected as a standard does not mean
that no element in it will ever be back.  (Although I think <MATH> was dropped
with good cause -- see below)

> It may be that the problem with <MATH> is more the fault of vendors of
> mathematical packages than browser vendors. The implementation was
> criticised for being presentation oriented. How this is different with
> words I do not understand.
> What can be more platform dependent than <FONT>??? So why is this in 3.2
> if W3C is still interested in cross-platform interoperability. 

Well, you won't see me praising <FONT> ;/, but I think <MATH> does have the
same problems as font, and more (for example, where <FONT> is used, simply
not changing presentation, as per lynx, generally does not really interfere
with the page, but <MATH> is unreadable on a browser which cannot implement
it...)  The fact that, IMHO, the W3C was wrong to include <FONT> doesn't
mean that we should open the presentational floodgates...

> I think you and I want the same things, but maybe you don't remember where
> we were two years ago, and where we could have been now.

There is undoubtably room for much improvement.  But abandoning standardization
in favor of each person supporting their own pet DTD is not improvement (and
happens far too much already, even with the W3C's best efforts).  But yes, our
goals do seem similar, and I hope you will work to push the standard in the
direction you wish it to go, rather than sticking yourself with a DTD which
will become less and less supported as time goes on...  After all, what makes
the standardization process work is as many people as possible hammering at
the standard until it is as generally useful as it is going to get.

				Jim Wise
				* Finger for PGP public key *