HTML 4 text.html#h-7.3.3

Lars Eighner (eighner@crl.com)
Tue, 29 Jul 1997 03:01:08 -0500


From: eighner@crl.com (Lars Eighner)
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject: HTML 4 text.html#h-7.3.3 
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 03:01:08 -0500
Message-Id: <ENa3zAwZq8ZW092yn@crl.com>

I find the following statement in the draft:

><h2>Lines and Paragraphs<a name="h-7.3.3">&nbsp;</a></h2>

>Authors traditionally divide their thoughts and arguments into
>sequences of paragraphs. The organization of information into
>paragraphs is not affected by how the paragraphs are presented:
>paragraphs that are double-justified contain the same thoughts as
>those that are left-justified.

   --   http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40-970708/struct/text.html#h-7.3.3

This statement appears to be summary.  It is not qualified in
any way.  If it had said "So far as can be expressed in HTML,
the organization of information into . . ." I would not have found
it remarkable.  But as it is, the statement seems to mean to be
universal in it applicability.

This has lead me to believe that there simply are dissenting opinions
within "the HTML community" and that this is an expression of
a central doctrine that is not open to question. Some people have
told me that I have drawn the wrong conclusion, so I am here to
see whether I have.

I am not interested in engaging in a debate of the truth value of
the proposition, but only in understanding the nature of the
statement.  To this end, I pose these questions:

1.  Is the sentence "The organization of information into
paragraphs is not affected by how the paragraphs are presented:
paragraphs that are double-justified contain the same thoughts as
those that are left-justified," meant to be universal in its
application, or does it apply to some more restricted domain
such "documents in HTML."   If it is meant to be less than
universal, why isn't it qualified in some way?

2.  If it is meant to be universal, is its basis in doctrine
or in evidence?  If this is meant to be a summary of some body
of evidence, wouldn't some reference to this material be in
order?

3.  Is there any conceivable evidence that could disprove this
statement?  This is not the question of whether any contrary
evidence exists, it is the question of whether this statement
could be contradicted by any conceivable evidence.  Is this a
question that could be resolved by science, or is it a matter
of faith?

4.  Is there any discernible dissent from this statement within
"the HTML community"?  Could dissent possibly exist?

Thank you for your consideration of these particular questions.


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