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HTML-WG  February 1996

HTML-WG February 1996

Subject:

Re: Do we have a rough consensus on html/style?

From:

Fisher Mark <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 09 Feb 96 08:21:00 PST

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text/plain (37 lines)



Murray Maloney writes in <[log in to unmask]>:
>For those who are concerned that the world's information
>will be insufficiently structured, searchable, indexable,
>renderable in alternate formats, etc., ... Oh well.
>If the owners of that information aren't concerned with
>those matters, then it is not up to us to impose it on them.

Those who want their information to be structured, searchable, indexable, 
etc. will need and (mostly) want to use the structure in HTML, or will 
eventually move to a more structured SGML doctype.  Unfortunately, allowing 
*any* style information opens up the possibility of cooking up virtual tag 
soup -- it is just (slightly) harder when you must use a stylename reference 
(<EM STYLE="default14">) instead of attributes applied directly on the tag 
(<EM STYLE="14 pt. Bold Helvetica; flashing; indent 1in.">).  With current 
technology, there is no way to enforce that writers use stylesheets in a 
responsible (structured, searchable, indexable, etc. documents) fashion.

To enforce structured documents, you must _not_ have any style information 
whatsoever permitted.  Once styles can be applied, you can produce something 
like what I have heard about PageMill -- something no better than raw Word 
or troff (without styles or macro packages).  The only thing accomplished by 
forcing style information into stylename references is to centralize the 
garbage, rather than having it strewn about the room.  It, unfortunately, 
will remain garbage, not susceptible to automatic analysis.

Given all that, if we need to address STYLE separately from tables so tables 
can move ahead, let us then address STYLE separately.
======================================================================
Mark Leighton Fisher                   Thomson Consumer Electronics
[log in to unmask]                   Indianapolis, IN




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