Re: [HTML 4.0 draft] (further) comments on ACRONYM

Aymeric Poulain Maubant (
Tue, 15 Jul 1997 11:40:22 +0200

Message-Id: <>
From: Aymeric Poulain Maubant <>
Subject: Re: [HTML 4.0 draft] (further) comments on ACRONYM 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Mon, 14 Jul 1997 14:23:17 +0300."
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 11:40:22 +0200

Stephanos writes :
> In "a large document made of many HTML files", [...]
> If you need to keep track of multiple acronyms, common
> stylesheets, a complex system of cross-referenced hyperlinks, a dynamically
> created table of contents, or whatever, you can do this in your native
> format and keep HTML as an output format.

As far as stylesheets are concerned, you are right, because style sheets
were conceived for that purpose.
As far as complex system of x-ref'd hyperlinks, or dynamically created tocs
are concerned, you are right : a filter between the native format and html
will do the job.
But, as far as "easy inline access by the user-agent (and eventually the 
user her/himself) to a definition of an acronym, a glossary entry,
a bibliographical entry a.s.o." you are wrong. 

Well, a smart filter between a large document in a native format and HTML
will produce glossaries, indexes, lists of bibliographicla entries, lists
of acronyms a.s.o. in a good both structured and layout manner, but what
it is missing is a direct access to a very small part (an item among a
huge list of entries) of these dictionnaries.

  "This is an <A HREF="/cgi-bin/"><ACRONYM title="..."
   lang="en">HTML</ACRONYM></A> example"

The above example shows the limits of the smart filter. This smart filter
produced many HTML files, some of them the document itself, others meta
document like toc, glossary, a.s.o. The above HTML code was written
automatically. Perfect !
But for the end user, accessing the complete definition of the acronym,
or a complete bib entry, or anything else means an interruption in the reading.
It would be much smarter to have a popup or anything else (except loading a new
HTML file in the same window) to present this auxilliary data. And this is why
a good definition of such objects (acronyms, bib entries...) is needed.