Benjamin Franz (
Wed, 12 Nov 1997 06:25:22 -0800 (PST)

Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 06:25:22 -0800 (PST)
From: Benjamin Franz <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: PR-HTML40

On Wed, 12 Nov 1997, Arnaud Le Hors wrote:

> In case you don't know yet, a new draft of the HTML 4.0 specification
> which is now a "Proposed Recommendation" has been released. It is
> available at:

I have placed a modified version of the 'loose' DTD (the 'strict' version
is fantasy land for implementors today who have to deal with a 30-50% of
market with no stylesheet support. It will be at least a year before it
can be used for non-targeted applications.) at

   The modifications are:

      Changed the DOCTYPE to
      <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//NetImages//DTD HTML 4.0//EN"

      Added BORDER, HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes to the INPUT element
      to improve handling of the IMAGE type INPUT element. It is
      severely inconsistent to provide these controls for
      IMG but not for INPUT type=IMAGE and the attributes
      are well supported in most browsers.

      Changed the P, LI, DD, DT, TD, TH and TR elements to be explicitly
      closed. This *substantially* improves stylesheet processing in 
      current browsers and drastically reduces the mistake rate involving
      nested tags. Implicit closing of those elements is the number one
      source of coding errors in my experience.

      Changed the HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes on IMG elements to
      be #REQUIRED vice #IMPLIED. This improves perceived speed and/or
      document display stability considerably in nearly all existing
      browsers. It is rare that an image needs to be included where
      its size is not available in advance. That case can be handled
      by 'HEIGHT="default" WIDTH="default"' compatibly with existing

      Added NAME as an attribute of IMG elements for scripting support.
      ID is poorly supported in most existing browsers. Until this
      changes, NAME *must* be used.

      Added WRAP as an attribute for TEXTAREA to support hard vs soft
      line wrapping. Line breaks in input text is *NOT* just a matter
      of presentation: There is a huge difference between

      Benjamin F. Durquist Street #41


      Benjamin F.
      Durquist Street #41

      which cannot be reliably distinguished without the WRAP
      attribute because mixtures of 'soft' wrapping and 'hard' wrapping
      in input text confuse users who expect linewrap to *always* be

   Modifications are flagged with the text string '*NSTD*' in the DTD

   Currently I have removed support for character codes > 255 because
   my local sgml parser is choking on them. This will be changed
   back to full Unicode entities support as defined at W3C as soon as
   I recompile the parser for multi-byte encoding support.

I view these changes as the minimal set required to make the 4.0 DTD
useful today to the web page designer.

Benjamin Franz