Meaning of Prescriptive??

Stan Newton (
Tue, 16 Aug 1994 10:07:24 -0400

I have a new assignment to develop authoring tools for HTML documents and
have been studying the July 94 draft of the HTML 2.0 specification. This is
an excellent draft overall but I do have a question about the term Prescriptive.

I don't understand the use or meaning of the term Prescriptive, as in
HTML.Prescriptive. What I mean is, I think I can follow how Prescriptive ON
changes the tagging rules, but I don't understand the intent. Why is there a
Prescriptive flag? How is it different from Proposed? If I have to author to
just one specification (HTML 2.0 Level 2, let's say), how do I choose
between Prescriptive ON or OFF?

Sorry if this is supposed to be obvious. I've looked for explanations and
haven't found them.
Stan Newton
Newton Computing Solutions