HTML 3.2 Standard Review - GOVPUB Posting

Enclosed is a recent posting to the GOVPUB or Government Publishing on 
the Internet list.  It would be great to get reaction from those on 
www-html why underlining is not one of the text attribute tags available 
under HTML 3.2.  Underlining is fundamentally important for the display 
of proposed legislation.  My general opinion is the lack of this tag will 
be a significant set back to making proposed legislation from various 
parliaments and legislatures available in HTML.

Comments would be great appreciated.

Steven Clift
North Star Project, State of Minnesota

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 27 May 1996 04:19:34 -0500
From: Steven Clift <>
To: Multiple recipients of list GOVPUB <GOVPUB@LISTSERV.NODAK.EDU>
Subject: HTML 3.2 Standard Review

Yea!  It looks like the big players are finally settling down on a new
updated HTML standard.  I have included the text of the page below:

They do ask for comments, but it looks like a fairly closed case.  The
one important text mark-up element that is missing is _underlined text_.
The lack of this attribute will likely slow down the availability of HMTL
formatted legislation that looks like the original stuff (they did
include striked-out text!?).  I suggest that folks send in comments on
this issue.  Otherwise a quick read of their summary seemed
satisfactory.  Having an active standard will help those of us who get
asked about what HTML standards should be followed - my previous answer
of "shoot for the anticipated HTML 3.0" never did make people very happy. :-)

Steven Clift
State of Minnesota

Here is the text from the page listed above:

Introducing HTML 3.2

HTML 3.2 is W3C's new specification for HTML, developed together with
vendors including IBM, Microsoft, Netscape Communications Corporation,
Novell, SoftQuad, Spyglass, and Sun Microsystems.

What's new in HTML 3.2?

Relative to the HTML 2.0 standard, HTML 3.2 will add widely deployed
features such as:

    text flow around images
    superscripts and subscripts

A description of HTML 3.2 elements includes a few minor changes relative to
HTML 2.0 as well.

What features are planned in future HTML specifications?

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.

What happened to HTML 3.0?

HTML 3.0 was a proposal for extending HTML published in March 1995. The
Arena browser was a testbed implementation, and a few other experimental
implementations have been developed (see: the Yahoo list of browsers,
including UdiWWW, Emacs-W3, etc.).

However, the difference between HTML 2.0 and HTML 3.0 was so large that
standardization and deployment of the whole proposal proved unwieldy. The
HTML 3.0 draft has expired, and is not being maintained.

What materials are available for HTML 3.2?

The following draft materials represent the consensus of an editorial review
board within the W3C, as of April of 1996. They are still under revision,
subject to W3C member review and public review.

HTML 3.2 Features at a Glance
    Brief description of all HTML 3.2 elements
Document Type Definition
    This defines the syntax of HTML as an SGML application

    See HTML testing for validation services.
Catalog File
    This can be used with SGML parsers like sgmls to bind FPIs to file
    Defines character entity names for accented Latin-1 alphabetic
Table of Latin-1 character glyphs
    This is provided to allow authors to pick a glyph and to include it in
    their documents as a numeric character entity, e.g. &#163; is the "#"
Press Release
    As released on May 7th, 1996

A working draft with greater details on each element will be available for
review shortly. The expected release date is July 1.

How do I give feedback and suggestions?

Before suggesting new features for HTML, please review the HTML activity
statement, as well as the WWW FAQ and the archives of www-html and other
discussion forums.

After researching the issue, if you determine that your suggestion is
novel and
valuable, you should consider writing a W3C working draft or an Internet

Regarding feedback on the HTML 3.2 specification, please keep in mind
that the
current draft represents a significant investment in time and effort by
the W3C
editorial review board for HTML, and significant changes are not expected.
Review comments should take the form of corrections and detailed wording
changes; but large feature changes are out of scope.

The most useful input is in the form of:

    test cases (for example, add them to browsercaps)
    suggested wording for the spec
    corrections to the DTD
     specific, detailed examples (including document markup) demonstrating
    problems and solutions.

The forum for public review will most likely be the www-html mailing list.
Stay tuned for details.

Received on Monday, 27 May 1996 05:26:25 UTC