Re: Netscape & New HTML

Earl Hood (
Thu, 20 Oct 1994 12:27:58 -0500

In article <>,
Marc Andreessen <> wrote:

>> I'm curious about something. Why, in order to implement
>> line centering, did you choose to create a new <CENTER> tag,
>> rather than merely implementing a <P ALIGN=CENTER> tag as
>> implemented in the HTML+ draft?

>No, there is no such practice that currently exists (the HTML+
>draft itself is even long expired), and <P ALIGN=CENTER> makes little sense
>given that (a) standard practice is that <P> is end of paragraph, not
>a container,

If you look at the HTML 2.0 spec, <P> is a container.

>and (b) document authors want to center sections of
>content, not just single paragraphs. I look forward to these issues
>being addressed in an appropriate standards forum.

<CENTER> implies a break-before and a break-after. I.e. It implies a
logical change in structure, but what kind of change? The following
are much better:

<p>Some text
<p align=center>Some centered text</p>
<p>some more regular text


<h1 align=center>This is a H1 heading</h1>

or even,

<address align=center>
John Doe<br>

Another way to look at centering is that is an _attribute_ of the
current structural element and implies no specific structure in
itself. I'd like to see some examples that use the <CENTER> tag that
cannot be easily handle in attributes.

I'd like to remind you again to look at other SGML DTDs (DocBook, TEI,
OpenBook) and see the type of markup they define that addresses the
issues you are trying to handle. The DTDs I mentioned are used to
publish for _paper_, but fit well with on-line publication (eg. We're
using OpenBook for our on-line documentation). Instead of trying to
reinvent the wheel, look at other wheels to see if they can roll you
down the right path.