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RE: FW: I-D ACTION:draft-connolly-text-html-00.txt

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 06:55:22 PDT
To: "Arjun Ray" <aray@q2.net>, <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001d01bf0f39$444fdba0$c3d2000d@copper.parc.xerox.com>
> I think this should be emphasized.  Four years ago, attempting an SGML
> compliant implementation was obviously disastrous
>  <URL:http://www.nyct.net/~aray/htmlwg/rcs.html>
>  <URL:http://www.nyct.net/~aray/htmlwg/1224.html>
> The situation hasn't really changed in all this time.
> > If the HTML 4.01 document is inadequate, then we can and should fix it.
> The one really important fixing it needs is to drop all normative
> references to ISO8879.  Get rid of the parts and/or sections (such as
> notes on implementation constraints) occasioned by the lip service to
> SGML, and replace them with a BNF for Tag Soup.  That, IMHO, would go a
> long way towards making 4.01 an honest spec.
> At times, highmindedness and humbug can be indistinguishable.

I suppose I should have qualified 'inadequate', since of course,
there's no belief that the HTML 4.01 specification could be
adequate for all purposes. In particular, it doesn't seem to
purport to, or want to, document current practice.

I can note in the revision of the 'text/html' document that current
practice on the Internet includes much non-compliant behavior, and
that implementors must be prepared to be "bug-compatible" with popular
browsers in order to work with many HTML documents on the net.

I don't think this reduces the value of specifying what 'text/html'
*should* be, although I agree it makes implementation hard.

I'm considering listing other published material about popular
extensions to HTML and documentation of non-compliant expected
behavior by HTML interpreters; I can include the references in
the 'text/html' registration.

If you know of good published material (with stable references)
for explaining the "real HTML", could you send me the bibliographic

Received on Tuesday, 5 October 1999 09:55:21 UTC

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