W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > May 1998

Re: HTML 4.0 in Netscape and Explorer

From: Stephanos Piperoglou <sp249@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 18:38:38 +0100 (BST)
To: Rob <wlkngowl@unix.asb.com>
cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.980521182910.154A-100000@teatime.joh.cam.ac.uk>
On Sat, 2 May 1998, Rob wrote:

> Something else about the article: I'd hardly consider HTML 4.0 the last 
> version. There may eventually be a 4.x or a 5.0.
> XML won't completely replace HTML. For generic documents HTML is fine.

I've recieved a lot of feedback on this issue, and I've let it float mainly
because it's just an opinion. When I revise the document (which will be soon
since a whole host of errors and vaguaries have come to my attention) I'll
make sure it's made clearer. The HTML WG has been disbanded in the W3C and
there are no current plans to work on HTML. And I don't really see any
reason, since there's not much more I see needed in HTML. 4.0 is very
complete for what it's supposed to do (generic documents, as you point out)
and XML is there for anything more specialised. CSS could still use some
work, as most other areas in which the W3C is working on. But the potential
for HTML to stagnate is also evident by the constantly decreasing amount of
"Hey, wouldn't it be nice if..." messages on www-html (except for the normal
newbie group that ask for #includes :-) but we've gotten used to them by

I doubt anyone will even feel motivated to develop HTML unless 4.0 is
implemented somewhere for a start. I get the feeling people are tired of
debating the theoretical merits or shortcomings of a technology that remains
unimplemented. IMHO, most of the things that appeared in 4.0 are just
solutions for problems that became evident once people started using HTML
widely. The down side is that browser manufacturers came up with
half-working solutions first and are reluctant to let them die, as they well
should, but still, if there are no requests for improvements, then there's
no need for improvements.

But as I said, it's just an opinion. YMMV :-)

-- Stephanos Piperoglou -- sp249@cam.ac.uk -------------------
All tribal myths are true, for a given value of `true'.
                         - Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent
------------------------- http://www.thor.cam.ac.uk/~sp249/ --
Received on Thursday, 21 May 1998 13:40:28 UTC

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