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


From: George Woolley <george@metaart.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 13:31:41 -0700
Message-Id: <v04003a00b31465f88f6f@[]>
To: www-html@w3.org
Currently the basics of HTML
(sufficient to create an information oriented site),
can be taught in less than an hour.
There's not a lot of clutter
and contrast can be used to increase clarity.
And there is no need to buy a special editor to get started.
This ease of entry for those who want it
is a major social value of HTML as it currently exists.

XHTML 1.0 as specified significantly undermines
the ease of learning and reading HTML.
We'll have a lot more tags in our code
and a lot less possibility of contrasts.
I was at the talk by Daniel Austin
(that Dan Meriwether referred to)
where he told us of the requirement
for including every attribute in an element.
If he is correct, HTML code would (in my opinion)
become a sort of Dilbert like sick joke.

Some people don't get why anybody cares.
Indeed, at the same talk Daniel Austin said
that we should think of HTML
as having a similar role to PostScript.
And since most of us don't expect PostScript
to be easily readable,
we should not expect HTML to be either.
Silly me, I thought HTML purported to be
a mark up language for humans (among other things).
Why am I concerned?
Because a major social value of HTML
is in the process of being destroyed.

1) Could someone let Daniel Austin know
   that his talk has been referred to here twice now?
   Or alternatively, could someone send me
   his e-mail address so I can let him know?
2) Could someone from W3C
   comment on whether they are committed
   to the social value referred to above?
3) Does anyone know of a specification
   (actual or under consideration)
   that involves anything like the proliferation of attributes
   that Daniel Austin talked about?

>At 17:29 15/03/99 -0500, Dan Meriwether wrote:
>>For the sake of readability, by humans, let the XHTML elements be all caps.
>There are text editors that can present markup in an highlightned way,
>usually using a different color.
>>It is also somewhat bizarre to specify that the attribute values must also
>>be in lower case. What about SRC and HREF attributes? Are you saying that
>>my entire directory structure now needs to be in lower case?
>No. this applies to attribute values that are case insensitive in SGML DTD,
>and not to those those that are case sensitive.
>In SGMLish HTML you can have Align="Center" but in XHTML
>it must be align="center"
>URIs are case sensitive, so is the alt attribute of <img> etc. and
>they may have mixed case. BUT they also have different meaning when
>they differ only by case.
>>Recently Daniel Austin mentioned, quite strenuously, that very element now
>>must have every attribute available to it declared within it. In other
>>words, when I specify a <TABLE> all 9 attributes must be present,...
>I think that this is not true.
>Nir Dagan
>"There is nothing quite so practical as a good theory."
>-- A. Einstein
Received on Tuesday, 16 March 1999 16:30:53 UTC

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