Re: List of changes in Nov.7 draft from Sept. 17 version (fwd)

Jordan Reiter (
Sat, 15 Nov 1997 14:45:20 -0600

Message-Id: <l03110701b093b3b1324a@[]>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 14:45:20 -0600
To: "Rob" <>
From: Jordan Reiter <>
Cc: Steve Cheng <>,
Subject: Re: List of changes in Nov.7 draft from Sept. 17 version (fwd)

=7FRob felt an urge to reveal at 12:37 PM -0600 on 11/15/97:
> On 13 Nov 97, Steve Cheng <> wrote:
> > On Thu, 13 Nov 1997, MegaZone wrote:
> >
> > > >IE 4.0 supports the elements INS and DEL. Why not use them in the
>next draft
> > > >or PR so that all changes can be easily spotted?
> > >
> > > Because it would confuse people not using IE4 - ie, the majority.
> >
> > In other words, backward-compatibility is sorely lacking in these two
> > elements, ensuring that they will not be used until a long time later.
> Those two elements are limited in their usefulness. If many changes are
> made to a document, INS and DEL become very messy.
> Rob

This is why I think serious work still needs to be done on these
attributes. The following URLs point to archived e-mails that cover this

My overall attitude is: INS and DEL, IMHO, are elements that although
useful have an extremely limited range of behaviors. Revision is much more
complicated than simple inserting and deleting. Sometimes you just have
your downright overall change. But you still want to indicate a selection
of text that has been changed. This is a problem. I currently see no way
that INS and DEL can be correctly used because they degrade really ugily.
On older browsers, you will see something like this:

My favorite food is pizza caviar.

This is totally different than seeing something like (suppose, for a
moment, that - indicates strikeout)

My favorite food is -p-i-z-z-a- caviar.

Where it is clear that there has been a change. It is not enough to use

<P>My favorite food is

because this assumes that a) even though they have an earlier-than-4.0
browser, it still supports U and STRIKE and that b) people who are already
really excited about the
now-I-have-stylesheets-I-don't-need-no-stinkin'-appearance-tags aren't
going to want to put them in.

I liked Jukka Korpela's idea of the CHANGE element, although I see some
problems with it as well (a great deal of legal documenters would want to
actually show old and new text for informational purposes, and to simply
use a pointer is no good). I think there has to be a way to do this. I just
can't think of it right now.

My suggestion is using actual content for this purpose, which is what
people have been doing anyway for some time, ie:

Section 3745:
Members of Congress shall serve
 (deleted) for no more than
 (inserted) for at least
40 years.

Something like that, where you indicate, with text or a symbol that the
text that follows has been deleted or inserted. Fore example, I think ^
would serve as a good insert symbol, as it is the same one used, to some
extent, in proofreading.

Below are some earlier URLs which, I think, address certain concerns and
desires people expressed with regards to modifying to content of documents.
Personally, I'm inclined towards the use of Revision attributes, although
again this would not gracefully degrade.

Proposing Revision attributes for elements such as P,BLOCKQUOTE,SPAN,DIV, et=

Explaining UPDated and DATED, two proposed elements to add to INS and DEL

[           Jordan Reiter                             ]
[                ]
[  "I have all the defects of other people and yet    ]
[   everything they do seems inconceivable to me."    ]
[           --E.M. Cioran                             ]