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RE: The Future of HTML (was: Acronyms and Abbreviations)

From: <JOrendorff@ixl.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 17:50:14 -0400
Message-ID: <CD8E2CDBC6D0D111ACB900805FBBD97E01FCFE35@mem-131.ixl.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
Well, that was a short thread.  I guess the concensus is that
HTML is stable.  Naturally, I disagree.  :-)

With XML, XSL, and schemas we'll all be able to invent our own
tags, which is great, but what I'm *not* hearing (and this
worries me) is that it's much better to use a tag that's got
standard semantics than to invent your own tag for the same

I'm all for extensibility, but maintaining extensions can be
expensive.  I currently write <book-title> in XML documents and
use XT to translate them into transitional HTML 4.  That's
expensive, in my opinion.

In the future, maybe I'll be able to write a whole
super-stylesheet for <book-title> so that the browser will
automatically check to see if the book is on sale on Amazon
or bn.com, or available as e-text from the Gutenburg Project,
and then offer those options to the user through clever context
menus or something.  That will be wonderful.  But still awfully
expensive for me as an author.

I'd be happier if there were a good standard set of tags
I could use, and the browser would do the work of figuring out
whether or not the extra semantic info I've provided is useful.

I look at the set of tags that exist in HTML and they seem
pretty randomly chosen.  There should be a core set of tags for
the most common semantic distinctions that need to be made.
On top of that, I should be free invent my own when necessary.

If no one else ever needed to express the name of a book on the
web, I would be fine with using <span class="booktitle"> and
CSS for the presentation.  Then it would be my problem.  But
lots of people use book titles.  Why no standard?

Received on Sunday, 24 October 1999 17:50:55 UTC

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