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

Paul Prescod (papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca)
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 19:30:40 -0500


Message-ID: <33371CB0.53BD@csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 19:30:40 -0500
From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: Steven Champeon <schampeo@hesketh.com>
CC: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>, www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: HTML should not be a file format, but an output format

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...

Nobody said that the SGML community has disowned anything. HTML is a
fine language for creating "home pages" and other simple web pages, and
a sterling example of how SGML can be simple and easy to use.

But the great majority of the information on the Web does not belong in
HTML as a source format. It is this situation that we seek to correct
when we speak of SGML "vs." HTML. It is a jargon shorthand such as that
employed by any industry in trying to simplify communication. It only
confuses a small minority. Those who are familiar with SGML know "the
code". Those who are not familiar with SGML typically do not know that
HTML is SGML and thus do not see anything stranger about talking about
SGML "vs." HTML than about PDF "vs." HTML.

 Paul Prescod