W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 1996

Re: Re:When will CSS rule?

From: <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 07:09:44 -0500
Message-Id: <1.5.4.32.19961120120944.00c490bc@csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: "Carl Morris" <msftrncs@htcnet.com>, "Steve Knoblock" <knoblock@worldnet.att.net>, "WWW Style List" <www-style@w3.org>
At 08:44 PM 11/19/96 -0600, Carl Morris wrote:
>| Not proprietary. With CSS <div class=poem> = <poem>. Easy for a
>search
>| engine to do now.
>
>The question after this is, with HTML CLASS attributes, is there still
>a need for real <POEM> tags?  

Yes. POEM tags have extra benefits over <div class=poem>.  
 * they are more compact to type and download. 
 * they are easier to work with programmatically. Most SGML/HTML search
engines/transformation tools/parsers/formatters/ whatever are "keyed" on
element name. Doing work based on attributes tend to be harder. 
 * you can use an SGML DTD to specify the valid contents of a poem, if you
want to.
 * <poem> is easier to parse than <div class="poem">. 
 * new elements may have new attributes like <poem author="Sidney">

>Wouldn't it complicate things, requiring
>browsers to constantly update, for such tags? 

Why? It is no harder to parse <POEM> than <DIV CLASS=POEM>. Neither requires
a browser update. They just require a style sheet to describe how to display
them.

>I don't think what we call HTML should ever turn into SGML, 

HTML could never turn into SGML. It wouldn't make sense. But the "standard
language" of the Web could turn into SGML. This process is under way.

>while it is
>"an application there of" it is meant to be simpler to use/parse/render
>than SGML.  

HTML is not necessarily easier to use, parse OR render than a "simple" SGML.
Note that ["simple" SGML] is now a World Wide Web Consortium standard.

>However, by SGML I think all people mean is content
>validation... 

That isn't at all true. You've missed the point of SGML altogether.

SGML is about allowing end users to take control of the data format of their
documents. Documents are important, the knowledge inside of them is vital
and hand-conversions from Netscape 2.0 HTML to Netscape 3.0 HTML are
error-prone and expensive. Part of that process of "taking control" may be
validation. But the most important part is just that you are allowed to
invent your own tags instead of being at the mercy of browser vendors. Your
document content is too important to trap in the braindead formats of the
people at Netscape who don't know document structure from a hole in the ground.

>it appears to me that all SGML does is define the rules
>for which content will be ... organized?  

It can. But it doesn't have to.

>But if everyone is able to
>define their own rules ... where will we be going?  (I know, anarchy!
>Or is that a democracy? :) <RBEG>

Freedom, not anarchy. "Conformity" is reimposed through style sheets and
document architectures.

 Paul Prescod
---
Boycott Shell Oil worldwide!  http://www.web.apc.org/embargo/shell.htm    

"Shell is here on trial and it is as well that it is represented by counsel
said to be holding a watching brief."..."The ecological war that the Company
has waged in the Delta will be called to question sooner than later." -Ken
Saro-Wiwa to the tribunal that later executed him.
http://www.gem.co.za/ELA/ken.html
Received on Wednesday, 20 November 1996 07:08:26 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 27 April 2009 13:53:46 GMT