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

F. E. Potts (
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 08:24:05 -0700

Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 08:24:05 -0700
From: (F. E. Potts)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: HTML should not be a file format, but an output format

At 12:55 PM 3/23/97 -0500, Paul Prescod wrote:
>Steven Champeon wrote:
>>> I must ask - what is SGML to you? I thought it was a standard for
>>> defining document types such as HTML. HTML, therefore, would be
>>> an instance of an SGML DTD. There is no such thing as ``tagging
>>> files in SGML'' apart from using a specific tagset.
>> The DTD should be chosen based on the needs of the document, and
>> not based on what arbitrary set of tags Netscape has decided to
>> implement this week. That is what people mean when they talk about
>> storage in SGML "vs." storage in HTML.

On Mon, 24 Mar 1997 07:02:46 -0700, Steven Champeon wrote:
> Oh. The way you all were talking about it, it had the ring of "talk
> in language, not English". Bit of confusion between the genera and
> species there. So I can still walk away from this discussion knowing
> that the SGML community has disowned HTML as an SGML application, and
> considers any SGML implementation other than HTML a valid and
> defensible one, as long as one has the choice of whether or not to
> use it...

I wouldn't say the SGML community has "disowned HTML as an SGML
application," for most of us do treat HTML as the SGML application it
is (validating all documents, etc.); it is just that we see it as a
very specialized application within SGML. 

Don't forget that SGML stands for Standard *Generalized* Markup
Language.  And, while this list is for HTML, the reason SGML is so
often a part of our discussions is because HTML is an application of