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Re: Re:When will CSS rule?

From: Steve Knoblock <knoblock@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 10:07:49 -0500
Message-Id: <2.2.32.19961120150749.00721350@postoffice.worldnet.att.net>
To: papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca, "Carl Morris" <msftrncs@htcnet.com>, "WWW Style List" <www-style@w3.org>

>>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">
>

I agree with all these points. We may not be able to get the browser
developers to implement them. Maybe MS is listening. I know they have a SGML
backend for Word.

>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 think Carl's concern is that SGML does not specify the way an element
should be displayed. If there were no style sheet present, then browser
developers would have to reinvent tags soup. But I think the very fact that
you could create an infinite number of variations on elements with SGML
makes a style sheet a necessary prerequisite for deploying SGML on the web.

>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.
>

That process scares me a bit. Will the DTD have to be downloaded with each
document? Will users have to download your special DTD when they first come
to your web site. Couldn't this cause confusion and make some sites
unviewable if you don't have the DTD in your browser?

>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

I have confronted this daily for over a year while building my web site.
Frustrated when there is not an element that aptly describes my content. You
can potentially lose some of the meaning of section by say wrapping the text
in a block quote element to get margins.

Steve
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   _/     Steve Knoblock, ed., City Gallery
             knoblock@worldnet.att.net
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Received on Wednesday, 20 November 1996 10:06:51 GMT

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