W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > June 1999

Re: Add new tags to HTML

From: Braden N. McDaniel <braden@shadow.net>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 10:08:13 -0400
Message-ID: <010001beac38$5481eea0$1a3a11cf@com>
To: "Nicolas Lesbats" <nlesbats@etu.utc.fr>
Cc: <www-html@w3.org>
----- Original Message -----
From: Nicolas Lesbats <nlesbats@etu.utc.fr>
To: Braden N. McDaniel <braden@endoframe.com>
Cc: <www-html@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 1999 9:13 AM
Subject: Re: Add new tags to HTML

> On Tue, 1 Jun 1999, Braden N. McDaniel wrote:
> | > Add new tags in HTML seems to not interest a lot of people any more,
but I
> | > think there still is some things to do.
> |
> | The canned answer to such suggestions is that you can create your own
> | in XML.
> The question is (it seems to be a very important point, but I haven't
> found the answer anywhere) : can you create your own tags in XHTML
> *without* refering to a DTD (well-formed XHTML...), and formatting them
> with stylesheets ?

3.1 of the XHTML spec currently says that conforming XHTML documents *must*
be valid to one of the XHTML DTDs. So I think the answer is: you can't do

I think if you want custom tags, you need to create and style the whole
tagset yourself. (I think this shouldn't *require* a DTD, though it would
probably be a good idea.) Note that there's no reason you couldn't use many
of the same tagnames as emplyed by XHTML. (What this would buy you other
than confusion and possible treatment as HTML in legacy browsers, I'm not

> | The main reasons that no tags are likely to be added in the near future
> | are... HTML as an SGML application has probably seen its end in the HTML
> | specification. It seems unlikely that there will be much motivation to
> | continue this line. It looks like the future of HTML is XHTML or some
> | derivative thereof. The single task of XHTML 1.0 seems to be to express
> | functionality of HTML 4.0 in XML terms. Perhaps there will be subsequent
> | versions of XHTML that extend the tagset.
> Depending on the answer of my question above. If people *can't* create new
> tags, then the existence of XHTML as the successor of HTML is very, very
> important, and developping this language are also very important.

I'm inclined to agree with that.

> | > 1. Format titles of books, movies, etc.
> | >
> |
> | CITE is generally used for this, though I think this element is a little
> | vague. Often, a citation consists of more than just a title. But
> | historically, titles seem to be all it's really good at. There is also
> | problem that italics are not the convention for all kinds of cited
> | titles--quotes are appropriate for some.
> ...and underline, etc. But you can add a 'class' attribute, which is made
> that. Thanks for your answer, I think the <cite> tag is what I want (the
> spec is not very clear about it...)

CLASS is handy, but unlike elements in a standardized markup language, class
meanings are context-unique.

> | > 2. More important : express distance with the text
> | >
> | > Traditionally rendered by quotes. You express doubts about what you
> | > saying. The linguistical, french term is "distanciation" (I suppose it
> | > exists in english), and it is opposed with "accentuation"
> | > rendered by <em>).
> |
> | This seems a reasonable suggestion. I like "dis".
> But time is not to imagine new tags, right ?
> Could <q> be semantically used in this case (or does it only concern
> citations ?). [It's a problem of translation : does the 'quote' element
> mean 'thing between quotes' or 'citation']

It's a problem of translation of English->English, as well. Because of Q's
CITE attribute, I'm been reluctant to use it for things that aren't
quotations. I suspect you'll find differing opinions on this one.

Braden N. McDaniel
Received on Tuesday, 1 June 1999 10:12:26 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 15:05:50 UTC