Re: HTML2: No Plain List of Items in Spec, implications for HTML3

Torgeir Veimo (
Sun, 07 Aug 94 17:09:43 +0200

> 3. In general, there is considerable room for reducing the size of primary
> HTML tags by implementing general concepts with parameters. Better
> abstraction will compress the language and this will be an important way to
> add more features while keeping the language small. It will also make
> evolution easier and learning simpler.

Agree. There are plenty of markup elements that is presenet in html which
didn't have to be specified in the first place.

I think that the html document format should be much more structured in the
way it defines markup elements. As I see it, there are three levels of markup
that could be present:

- character mode markup (bold, italic, subscript etc.)

- paragraph mode markup (body, heading, listitem, preformated, math, table
item etc.)

- document flow markup (blockquote, listgroup [numbered/bulleted/ etc.],
indentation, tables etc.)

Note that this could imply recursion, if one decides to allow this, ie.
letting document flow tags be present inside other document flow tags.

Such abstraction would ease the implementation of graphical html
browsers/renderers, since it would delegate rendering very nicely between
different components in the document hierarchy.

For example, string elements could do everything that have to do with
character markup, rendering under the constraints put forward by the
paragraph, which could be a heading or a body. The paragraph would then again
be constrained by the current document flow, be it a list, a table or a
blockquote, which again would be constrained by the current window width, or
another document flow, etc.

Torgeir @

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