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

From: Nir Dagan <nir@nirdagan.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 21:53:09 -0500
Message-Id: <199910250151.VAA11187@vega.brown.edu>
To: JOrendorff@ixl.com, www-html@w3.org
There are things in between "standards" and "our own" 
For example a group of book loving people and interested 
organizations (libraries, publishers, bookstores) can form some 
consortium to design relevant markup that addresses their needs. 

Now this book loving people will reduce costs considerably by agreeing 
on a set of tags with public documentation, and writing some widely 
distributed software (and stylesheets) designed to manipulate 
these tags, including looking for book bargains on the web.

There is no clear cut answer what XML applications W3C 
should develop, and what should be left to others.
The only principle is that W3C will work on 
things that are of intereset of a very general public,
or put the foundations for more specific usage.


At 05:50 PM 10/24/99 -0400, JOrendorff@ixl.com wrote:
>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?
Nir Dagan
Assistant Professor of Economics
Brown University 
Providence, RI

Received on Sunday, 24 October 1999 21:51:04 UTC

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