HTML: use SGML keyboarding features?

Dan Connolly (
Tue, 08 Dec 92 18:00:38 CST

Message-Id: <>
Subject: HTML: use SGML keyboarding features?
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 92 18:00:38 CST
From: Dan Connolly <>

SGML has several features to make keyboarding easier.

As I was adding phrase-level elements (from TeXinfo:
em, strong, code, file, cite, etc.) it occurs
to me that it might be somewhat tedious to
key this stuff in:

	See <cite>A Discipline of Programming</cite> for good ideas.

	Type <kbd>go </kbd><var>address</var><key>RETURN</key> to
	go to any node by its address.

SGML has a feature called SHORTTAG that lets you do:

	I <em/really/ think we should...

and stuff like that. It also lets you omit the quotes around
attribute values, as long as they only contain name characters
(letters, digits, period, hyphen).

Do we want to support these in HTML?

I'd say: no.

But it would be nice to have a program that reads HTML with this
kind of markup and writes the more primitive kind.

This tool is usually said to normalize a document. Perhaps
I could hack the sgmls parser to do this kind of thing.
Shouldn't be too hard.

So we would end up with a "compiler" that just spit the
source back out, all cleaned up.

Just an idea...