Re: HTML should not be a file format, but an output format

nemo/Joel N. Weber II (
Sat, 22 Mar 1997 22:29:55 -0500 (EST)

Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 22:29:55 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
From: "nemo/Joel N. Weber II" <>
In-reply-to: <> (
Subject: Re: HTML should not be a file format, but an output format

   Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 20:59:39 -0500 (EST)

   Postscript is a standard, open format but no wp uses that as its internal 
   format for good reason.


But you don't define that `good reason'.

The definition that I can find of what that good reason might be is that
it's nearly impossible to write a program which can read arbitrary
Postscript and convert it to a sane, editable word processing format.

I don't think HTML has that problem.

   Globetrotter documents store lots of things that 
   you can't or don't want to store in your HTML files. For example, 
   Globetrotter has posted notes that you can make private notes to yourself 
   about whatever. You certainly don't want those readable to anyone who 
   knows about the view source command. (Although I've seen such things in 
   actual documents on the web.)

Server side includes provide that functionality, I think.

   It stores pictures in their original 
   formats, converting them to GIF or JPEG when you publish. That way you 
   can go back to the original application you used to create the picture 
   without problems. (If you use the same argument about pictures that you 
   use about HTML, of course you'd only use graphics programs that use GIF 
   or JPEG as their internal format.)

There's also PNG.

   >   In particular, Globetrotter rejects document=web page. After all, no one 
   >   edits word processing documents with each page in a separate file. Can 
   >   you imagine anyone believing that was the *right* way to do it? A single 
   >   Globetrotter document (1 file) can publish many different HTML pages 
   >   (many files) on the web.
   >That's not really a valid analogy.

   Why not? The structure of a web site is arbitrarily divided up into 
   multiple files. Each page and each picture must be in a separate file. 
   Server-side image maps have to be in separate files. CGI scripts have to 
   be in separate files. Is this the best way to edit a site?

I think I now see your point.

OTOH, I don't see a problem with spliting it across several files.  I
usually split computer programs I write across several files; why shouldn't
I split web pages similarily?

   For example, in Globetrotter small caps is a true style. It 
   doesn't exist in HTML. When Globetrotter publishes a document it writes 
   the correct HTML to produce the desired result.

Doesn't CSS1 provide small caps?

    5.2.4    'font-variant'

   Value: normal | small-caps
   Initial: normal
   Applies to: all elements
   Inherited: yes
   Percentage values: N/A

   Another type of variation within a font family is the small-caps. In a
   small-caps font the lower case letters look similar to the uppercase
   ones, but in a smaller size and with slightly different proportions.
   The 'font-variant' property selects that font.

   A value of 'normal' selects a font that is not a small-caps font,
   'small-caps' selects a small-caps font. It is acceptable (but not
   required) in CSS1 if the small-caps font is a created by taking a
   normal font and replacing the lower case letters by scaled uppercase
   characters. As a last resort, uppercase letters will be used as
   replacement for a small-caps font.