I'd like to join Dan in welcoming another vendor to the list.
At SoftQuad, we took a somewhat different approach to HTML editing, I
think, and in fact have many happy users, and recenltly HoTMetaL PRO 2.0
was given Editor's Choice award by PC Magazine (the Oct 10th edition).
I say this to show that an approach that _does_ take structured editing
into account _can_ succeed.
> If someone is really interested in structured document editing, I'll
> be the first to admit that Emissary won't fit their needs.
I think our take on tht would be that since an HTML document is necessarily
structured, at least a little, you are saying that Emissary is not suitable
for HTML editing. Probably that isn't what you meant by it :-), and I am
not trying to twist your words, but to point out that at the very least,
* contains and
includes rows that include cells,
and so on.
You really do have to have containment.
Further, if you want your document to appear in the automatic web indexes,
you want to have meaningful text in header (H1) elements.
It's unfortunate that the default styles in many browsers are so poor,
at 24 pt. and body text at 12 pt -- this is partly because the
browser developers are only very rarely typographically aware, but it
does place the web in a weak position when people with graphic design
experience and typographical awareness start working with HTML.
If you want a document to be indexed so that
find "tuna fish" in title or heading
will work, you have to use headings.
See http://www.opentext.com/ for examples of such searches that really
do work and really are useful.
> Some folks aren't in a position to make an informed choice between
> structured document editing and editing a picture of a document.
> Some folks rely on vendors to sort through these issues and provide
> tools that Do The Right Thing.
I'd go further than that. Not only do We Vendors have a responsibilty,
we also have an Opportunity. HTML editing is new to most people buying
software for it. You **CAN** introduce them to a new paradigm, if you
do it carefully enough.
> Other folks are tired of dealing with the peculiarities of the
> "currently-popular browsers." At a recent conference on E-Commerce,
> one web service vendor noted that in the course of supporting their
> payment system, they ran across 800 distinct web user agents, each
> with its own glitches.
User feedback has always been that documents created with HoTMetaL
generally work first time in most or all browsers.
In the end, we caved in to people wanting various (usually HTML 3 or
Netscape) extensions to HTML 2, and allowed them. In HoTMetaL 2, when
you validate or save, we list the elements that are extensions.
So again, not only would I agree with Dan here, but also I'd say that
the work that HTML-WG has already done has allowed people to create
documents that work first time, in a reliable way.
I like to think that every single document created with our software means
one little bit less chaos out there. We are *actively* helping to move
the World Wide Web towards SGML, not just with Panorama (the SGML browser),
but indirectly also by generating all those HTML documents out there that
are also valid SGML documents.
At the risk of sounding fervent..
``Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Will you give all you can give so that our browsers may advance?
Some will fall and some will live.
Will you stand up and take your chance?''
(from `Do you hear the browsers sing', in Les Miserables :-))
> > But the old
> >mess isn't going to go away anytime soon.
> If you say so. And I'm serious: the more folks that say this, the
> more likely it will become true. Especially folks in a position
> to influence zillions of end-users like yourself. We all create
> the world around us.
This is very true
A little under 5% of HTML documents in the Open Text index currently begin
with " > We will have to distinguish the
> >standards-compliant documents (and the set of clients which properly handle
> >them) from the old ones, because they are going to live side-by-side for a
Please don't do this using DOCTPYE.
Start by assuming a document might be OK, and, if it parses -- hey, it is!
When you write it out as a valid HTML 2 document, add the DOCTYPE line.
Encourage the use of semantically-rich markup, and make it easy, and your
users will love you.
Liam Quin, SoftQuad Inc +1 416 239 4801 [log in to unmask]