HTML and the future

Dylan Northrup (
Thu, 27 Oct 1994 10:20:07 -0400 (EDT)

I once was one uniniated in the ways of SGML and structured languages. I
thought <h1> meant "Text is really realy big and bold". I though
<address> just meant "use italics". And it was good.

When Mozilla came out I was happy. "Now I can center text" I said. "Now
I can alter individual letter sizes" I cackled. And it was good.

Then I heard a clamour. There were people who didn't like these new
features. I was aghast! How could these heathens not like this mana.
Had they finally went looney from staring at their screens too long? Had
they been damned forever for not using the one true editor, vi? Had they
been banished from the land of milk and honey for using the accursed
"HTML editors" which were worthless and slow and whose only benefits were
to allow people to code HTML without knowing what HTML was?

Then I listened to their words and thought upon their meaning.
"<center></center> is a bad thing because it offers no logical content."
"Using semantic markup allows portability between browsers."

And hearing these words, I became very nervous as the realisation that
all was indeed not good sank in. And I did begin to wonder and begin to
search for the fable tomes which spake of wonderous things such as SGML
and semantic markup and logical definitions and other words which I did
not understand but which I realised had a magical quality. And it was
better. Not god, but better.

And I did think upon these beautiful things that I had seen and these
wonderful places I had gone and an idea formed in my mind. To whit:

"Why not embed presentation hints inside of the logical markups?"

Now, as soon as I said these words, I knew that I was not the first to
think of it and I was onoy echoing what had gone before. However, the
beautiful simplicity of <P ALIGN="center"> compared to the base
hideousness of <CENTER></CENTER> was apparent. And it was good.

And verily did I say "Can't we all just get along?" and imagined such
things as <H1 size=+2> (and the size tag of course would be ignored on
browsers not supporting the size tag) and <HR align="center"> and other
wondrous ideas whose implementation I am not worthy to contemplate. And
it was good.

And so I drafted this text so that you, the assembled could gaze upon it
and I would ask in the fashion of Bill Maher "Does anybody have a problem
with *that*?"

And it was good?

* Dylan Northrup <> * PGP and Geek Code available *
*********************************************** via WWW and upon request *
* Will code HTML for food * KIBO #7 * <> *
Random Babylon 5 Quote:
"Well, after all, no one knows exactly what you look like. That makes
some people nervous."
-- Sinclair and Kosh, "Grail"