W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > July 1995

Re: fwd:Fonts

From: Benjamin C. W. Sittler <bsittler@prism.nmt.edu>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 1995 09:51:09 -0600
Message-Id: <199507061551.JAA03358@huey.nmt.edu>
To: young@cs.purdue.edu (Michal Young)
Cc: www-style@www10.w3.org
Two general ideas are behind generic character-level elements:
1) Nonrendering Semantic Content
     The primary purpose is allowing document authors to encode more
specific semantic information in documents without causing existing
browsers to render the documents in strange ways. 

Example: Biographic Database of Instructors
A school could have a series of documents giving biographies of their
various instructors. Traditionally, this would probably be stored in some
(non-HTML) database format, and translated when necessary into a series of
HTML documents like biography pages and indices, and used in conjunction
with a (CGI) script to search for given key information (i.e. all
instructors from a given department.)
With generic character-level elements, the source for the database could
be written *in HTML* with key fields (i.e. Department) inside generic
elements subclassed appropriately:
 .... Proffessor X teaches the following courses in the
<STRING CLASS=Department>Mathematics</STRING> department: ...
Unless a specific stylesheet hint for STRING[CLASS=Department] existed,
this would render as normal text, which is probably the desired effect.
The database search engine, however, can now search for all professors
from a given department by looking at the HTML. This allows the source
files for the database to be in a relatively human-readable form, and
allows hand-editing without special software. 

2) Special Rendering Hints for Semantic Contents
     The secondary purpose of the generic text entity is to allow special
rendering hints for certain semantic elements. For example, the
names of individual products in a searchable catalog could be rendered in
a different font:
<STYLE> STRING[CLASS=ProdName] : font.family = Helvetica ; font.style =
                                 oversize caps; oversize.font.size = 14pt
</STYLE>
.
.
.
... the <STRING CLASS=ProdName>SuperSpatula XE-2000</STRING> provides
hours of fun in the kitchen over a hot stove... your breakfast...

NB: I use STRING here because it's probably a better mnemonic than TEXT
for the concept of generic character-level markup.

-- 
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 Name: Benjamin C. W. Sittler -- Email: bsittler@nmt.edu -- Snail: P.O. Box 153
 Web: http://nmt.edu/~bsittler/         bcws@arc.unm.edu           Socorro, NM
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Received on Thursday, 6 July 1995 11:46:42 GMT

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