Browser support of HTML 2.0

Brandon Plewe (
Wed, 25 Jan 1995 20:08:26 +0100

While I salivate for HTML 3, and watch everyone clamor for this or that to
be supported, I am reminded that currently, most browsers don't even support
all of HTML 2 as it was designed (or as the spec says it should be handled).
For example, I have seen very little support for the following:

this tag was supposed to present a multicolumn list of elements, similar
to a file directory. Many of what people want from tables (i.e.
condensing long menus into several shorter columns), could be done much
more easily if this element were supported this way.

the COMPACT attribute was supposed to produce a more compact version of
the definition list. While the <DL> places the term and definition on
separate lines, I would assume <DL COMPACT> would place them in adjacent
columns on the same line. Viola used to do this just fine.

this one has been discussed often on this list, and I think everyone
agrees that it would be great if these elements were used to form a
non-scrolling button bar. Everything needed is already in the spec,
with the possible exception of a src for including icon images. So far,
SCO (a couple days ago) is the only company I've heard say they would
support this.

User-controlled Appearance
Users have control over fonts, but the spec alludes to them having more
control, such as color and justification (i.e., make all H1's centered,
or all ADDRESS right-justified, as it is in Arena). I have seen color
control in a couple browsers.

So how about it? I know several of the browser developers have been
instrumental in writing the HTML 2.0 spec--do they plan on supporting all of it?

I don't mean to sound argumentative, or negative about the current browsers. I
think they're wonderful--I'm just wondering if there are plans for these
"already existing" features; and if not, why are they in the RFC?

Brandon Plewe