Re: HTML 4.0 draft available

Paul Prescod (papresco@technologist.com)
Wed, 09 Jul 1997 12:11:58 -0400


Message-ID: <33C3B84E.DDC5D7E8@technologist.com>
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 1997 12:11:58 -0400
From: Paul Prescod <papresco@technologist.com>
To: jptxs <jptxs@idt.net>
CC: Scott Matthewman <scottm@danielson.co.uk>, IDSamson@beauty.hsrc.ac.za,
Subject: Re: HTML 4.0 draft available

jptxs wrote:
> maybe i'm misunderstanding here, and all those old documents will be safe
> so long as they refer to older DTD's and the like, but i don't think so.

By definition, if you put in your document type declaration

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC ***> 

new versions of HTML cannot make your documents incorrect. New versions
are new versions. They have new DTDs, new public identifiers and thus
distinctive document type declarations. Maybe the new "ultra-readable"
(good job!) specification will encourage people to read the spec and
follow its requirements -- which include a doctype declaration.

Anyhow, it isn't clear yet that we need an HTML 5.0. If everything that
HTML does becomes available from XML then people can just use HTML
4.0-like DTDs until they reach their limits at which point they can
extend them in whatever way they feel appropriate. The "browser feature
wars" can shift from the markup to stylesheets and "scripting
specifications". 

Netscape bought into XML when they "realized" that it wasn't a
competitor to HTML, but they didn't make clear what would be the problem
if it made HTML-as-we-know-it (i.e. non-eXtensible HTML) obsolete.

 Paul Prescod