HTML Plans [was: I am confused]

In message <>, schwarte@iwb.uni-st writes:
>Will <math>, <fig>, <overlay> and related tags that I am missing in
>HTML 3.2 (and so are many HTML-users) be in back in future versions,
>perhaps in HTML 4.0?

In short: yes, but possibly in a modified form.

Expanded version: please read the relavent background materials before
posting to a public forum:

| W3C continuing to work with vendors on extensions for multimedia
| objects, scripting, style sheets, layout, forms and math. W3C plans
| on incorporating this work in further versions of HTML. See The
| W3C Activity Statement on HTML for details. 

For details, see:

	W3C Activity: Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)

>Again the question: Why have they been eliminated in the
>present version, which obviously in not allready that official as 
>"Magazone" believes?
>Am I right that HTML 3.2 covers just a subset of the tags that are 
>meant to be official, whatever that means? If so, HTML 3.2 seems 
>to be a confusing interlude. 

The HTML 3.x situation has been "a confusing interlude" for some
time. (See attached supporting evidence from altavista search).

HTML 3.2 is supposed to represent stuff that the implmentors have
agreed how it works, and the information providers can safely use.
Or something like that. Broad generalizations like that seem
to lead to nothing but trouble.

The DTD last edited by hand at 23-Apr-96 (and checked into RCS at
1996/05/06 22:11:23) represents the consensus of the W3C editorial
review board.

Now we're considering input from the public (which has a bunch of
implementation experience of their own that we really should have
considered, but didn't -- YET).

The bottom line is: HTML 3.2 is supposed to represent "where we are,"
and not "where we want to be." The W3C activity statement on HTML
outlines where we want to be.

Regarding HTML 3.0 math:

HTML math was always supposed to represent enough of the structure of
the information that it could be manipulated by symbolic math
packages. From what I understand, on close examination, the
implementors of those symbolic math packages found the HTML 3.0 markup
unacceptable. It does a reasonable job representing pictures of
equasions, but not the information behind them.

>I also do not understand why the "extended HTML-tables" are not
>included in HTML 3.2.

Because we don't feel there is sufficient implementation experience,
i.e. nobody has coded the whole thing up. The HTML 3.2 DTD is
an attempt to represent what folks seem to have coded up.

> The DTD on this topic seemed to be allmost
>finished. Will this be in a future version too?

We expect so. Again, see the activity page for information about
the future.

>And what about client-side-imagemaps? The <fig> based concept seems
>to be better then the concept of Seidman that has been implemented in
>HTML 3.2. I guess that it is because Netscape and Microsoft did 
>implement it as well.  Or will there be an <object> based concept for 
>client-side-imagemaps in the future?

Again, the information is at your fingertips:


    <object data="navbar.gif" shapes>
        <a href=guide.html shape=rect coords="0,0,118,28">Access Guide</a> |
        <a href=shortcut.html shape=rect coords="118,0,184,28">Go</a> |
        <a href=search.html shape=rect coords="184,0,276,28">Search</a> |
        <a href=top10.html shape=rect coords="276,0,373,28">Top Ten</a>

>My suggestion: PLEASE stop talking about the official 
>HTML 3.2 and release some unofficial HTML X.Y as soon as possible, 
>that covers all the mentioned stuff. 

Experience shows that would be counterproductive.


Received on Friday, 10 May 1996 15:18:32 UTC