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

Rob (
Mon, 17 Nov 1997 23:50:59 -0500

Message-Id: <>
From: "Rob" <>
To: Jordan Reiter <>,
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 23:50:59 -0500
In-reply-to: <l03110701b093b3b1324a@[]>
Subject: Re: List of changes in Nov.7 draft from Sept. 17 version (fwd)

On 15 Nov 97, Jordan Reiter wrote:
> [..]
> 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.
> [..]

There are two related needs here:

(1) the ability to note revisions in HTML (date/time, type of change, 
   reason and/or citation)
(2) markup related to revisions (INS/DEL or a proposed changed/updated 

(1) without any visible markup would be very useful by itself,
especially for situations where documents are maintained by more than
one person. The ability to have CSS pseudo-classes would enhance their
usefulness by explicitly highlighting revised portions of the document.

This can be added to the specification (perhaps as attributes to 
the DIV and SPAN elements) without any major problems. Even if there is 
no eventual support by browsers or even in the CSS spec, it would be a 
very useful feature to a lot of people. (Yes, one could always use 
comments, but standard attributes allow for automated use of them.)

Only with (2) is there an issue with degrading gracefully, specifically
with the DEL element. I can't think of a way around the problem.
However, INS and DEL are of limited use (mainly for legal documents
which might be better suited to a separate markup language rather than
HTML).  Whether this is resolved should not have any bearing on whether 
(1) is incorporated into the standard.

On a side note, a DATED element for marking dated sections of a document 
would be useful.


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