W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 2000

HTML 4.0 gone - horrendous

From: Jukka Korpela <jkorpela@cc.hut.fi>
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2000 11:13:11 +0200 (EET)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.10.10001031048490.3686-100000@beta.hut.fi>
I just noticed that links to items in the HTML 4.0 specification
have stopped working. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has
used links like
<a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/interact/forms.html"
>section <cite>Forms</cite> in the HTML 4.0 specification</a>

Now they give "Sorry, Not found".

This isn't particularly delighting. It means updating lots of
documents and bookmarks. It's frustrating because there was
no need to break things that way. This is a particularly
illustrative example of item 6 in

It seems that the HTML 4.01 specification items can be referred
to by URLs like
That is, it would probably suffice to run a global replace over
all of my files, replacing REC-html40 by html401 and hoping for
the best. That would solve the problem for links on _my_ pages.
For the time being. Assumably HTML 4.02 or something would break
things again.

Please tell me this was not intentional.

HTML 4.01 was supposed to be a minor update to HTML 4.0,
wasn't it? Surely it would make sense to let old links work
and just point to corresponding location in the updated spec.

There's more confusion:

still exists and carries the heading
"HTML 4.0 Specification 
W3C Recommendation 25 December 1999" 
and says it was superseded by
the previous day (!). And that document, in turn, says that the
"Latest version of HTML" is
which calls itself "Proposed Recommendation".

With this in mind, I won't even mention that the specification is
self-contradictory in a detail: the marginwidth and marginheight
attributes. (Now we know the smallest value isn't 2 as the original
HTML 4.0 spec says, but we still don't know whether it is 0 or 1.
IMHO there's little reason to require it to be positive.)

Yucca, http://www.hut.fi/u/jkorpela/ or http://yucca.hut.fi/yucca.html
Received on Monday, 3 January 2000 04:13:16 UTC

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