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Re: SGML SHORTTAGS Feature usage in HTML 4.x Recommendation.

From: William F Hammond <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
Date: 17 Nov 2002 08:46:34 -0500
To: W3C HTML Mailinglist <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <i7wunc48cl.fsf@hilbert.math.albany.edu>

"Russell O'Connor" <roconnor@math.berkeley.edu> writes:

> On 13 Nov 2002, William F Hammond wrote:
> > I think this issue comes down to the question of whether HTML 4.01 is
> > an SGML application (and nothing more than that) or whether HTML 4.01
> > is its *own thing* with which there is a canonically associated SGML
> > application[1].
> Clearly HTML is an SGML application because according to section 4.2 of
> HTML 4.01 spec
> ``HTML 4 is an SGML application conforming to International Standard ISO
> 8879 -- Standard Generalized Markup Language SGML (defined in
> [ISO8879]).''
> > The latter is correct.  For example, one cannot make it a requirement
> > in an SGML application that there be a formal public identifier since
> > from the point of view of the strict SGML world an SGML document is
> > the full assemblage.
> I believe the above is also true.  Clearly HTML is not an SGML application.
> Basically the HTML specification is inconsistent.  I'm sure the W3C is
> aware of this.  I'm not sure why it doesn't bother them.  I know it keeps
> me awake at night.

In fact, none of the associated SGML applications has "HTML 4" as a
subphrase (not to be confused with substring) of its formal public

Where the spec says that "HTML 4" is an SGML application, its authors
are using somewhat imprecise language.  As a statement about each of
the three versions of HTML 4.01 this use of language is roughly
equivalent to that of a mathematician who says that a ring is a left
module over itself when actually the left module is only canonically
associated with the ring.

                                    -- Bill
Received on Sunday, 17 November 2002 08:46:44 UTC

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