Re: HTML 3.2

 From: Paul Prescod <>
| I'm still trying to figure out what the benefit is in formally standardizing
| an existing defacto standard. There are about a hundred books you can buy
| that will duplicate the information you are putting into "HTML 3.2". The
| only benefit, in my mind, is to confer legitimacy on the browsers that
| support HTML 3.2 already, and the process they used to ram them down our
| (collective) throats.

The implication is that all those W3C vendors are going to bless 3.2 and
that people who write to it can expect it to work across their
platforms. And, it gives it a name to put in your DOCTYPE.  And it gets
rid of the widespread notion that there is something called "HTML 3.0"
that people should be writing to, by formalizing something else with a
visibly higher number.  These are all small gains, but they're hardly

Obviously, like verybody else, I wish they had raised the barrier a
little higher (like taking all of the tables draft, CLASS and ID,
footnotes (preferably renamed DIGRESSIONs), ...), but it's still good to
move the base up closer to where existing practice actually is.

 From: (Mike Meyer)
| The worst thing about HTML 3.2 is the numbering; normally, a higher
| number implies more features. Hence, one would expect 3.2 to be an
| IMPROVEMENT over HTML 3.0. This isn't the case.
| Would someone at W3C like to justify this numbering? Especially when
| some wiseacre is bound to misquote that "HTML 3.0 was a great advance
| over its successor"?

I think it's obvious - it preempts the presumption that 3.0 is "more
valid" than this version.  Too many people still expected that 3.0 was
where the standard was going.  Since there's no way to "erase" 3.0,
using a higher number makes it clearer that 3.2, rather than 3.0, is
the thing to look at.

With luck, next time people go off to spec the future, they'll choose a
name or description, rather than a specific number, for their drafts...


scott preece
motorola/mcg urbana design center	1101 e. university, urbana, il   61801
phone:	217-384-8589			  fax:	217-384-8550
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Received on Wednesday, 8 May 1996 12:13:26 UTC