Re: Processing instructions for style tweaks?
Mon, 5 Dec 1994 18:46:55 -0500

> Liam Quin ( writes:
>> * we need to work on making HoTMetaL accept invalid documents, and make it
>> at least as good as HoTMetaL PRO is now.
>> The last point is for completeness.... but also because just as a browser
>> that rejects invalid files is bad, so is an editor that
>> rejects invalid files. (Patrick Stickler)
> The inability of HoTMetaL to handle errors in input documents is the
> single reason I still write HTML using a text editor and validate with
> sgmls. In general, I think it is an excellent tool and laud SoftQuad
> for offering it to the WWW community; and I am encouraged to see that
> you folks understand the great need for an HTML editor that can also be
> used for "debugging" HTML documents created with other non-validating
> tools.

Thanks.... we hope to improve HoTMetaL's ability to import bad HTML files,
probably early in the new year (Jan/Feb) but it's too early to know yet
when our next release date will be.
> > HOWEVER: imagine a server that requires that you `import' a file to its
> > `database' before it will deliver it.

> Intelligent servers which index/classify doucuments are a good example
> why not only must HTML documents be valid, but authors must (in some
> way) be taught/convinced to encode their documents using functional
> markup and not merely for attaining a particular appearance (e.g. using
> <H6> for a copyright string because Mosaic displays this in a nice
> small font, etc.).

Agreed. This is difficult. One way to try this is to have multiple
style sheets for HTML documents, so that the author can see the same
document looking different...

> The major advantage of attributes over processing instructions is that
> the author must use *some* tag. I.e. if processing instructions are
> used, it will be feasible to use nothing in the <BODY> but a single
> <P>, an assortment of format-based tags such as <BR>, anchors, and
> processing instructions to encode a complete HTML instance that
> displays as desired!

True. I don't see us adding any special support for processing instructions
in HoTMetaL, although we might add the ability delete/insert them if support
for them becomes more common. Same for comments & marked sections.
To be honest, I think it's awfully silly worrying about overriding style
sheets on a per-element basis when you don't even have style sheets working.


Liam Quin, SoftQuad Inc +1 416 239 4801   <URL:>
HexSweeper NeWS game;OPEN LOOK+XView+mf-fonts FAQs;lq-text unix text retrieval
SoftQuad HoTMetaL/HTML Editor; SoftQuad Panorama/WWW SGML Viewer (unreleased)
See our Web page for HoTMetaL ftp sites...  Take off those shoes and relax.