Re: HTML3 <OL inherit> gone for good?

lilley (
Mon, 13 Mar 1995 10:25:07 +0500

Brian wrote:

> On Fri, 10 Mar 1995, Lou Montulli wrote:

> > Stylesheets should
> > in no way be relied upon as the only method of rendering hints or
> > assumed to exist before they actually do.
> In some ways you're right, this is a chicken-and-egg situation. But
> there's sufficient evidence to suggest that stylesheets should at least
> be investigated by any institution doing serious R&D in web technology
> development.

Ok, Brian, so you are agreeing with Lou that stylesheets should, in time, be
implemented but that they should not be the only way to provide rendering hints?

> > The smart approach is
> > to move forward with BOTH the stylesheets proposal and continue
> > to add rendering hints directly into HTML as tags and attributes.
> > Having both methods will allow the public to use whichever
> > method best suits their needs and will lead to the best of both worlds.

I agree.

> No, the standards process must *not* be driven by market forces or the
> momentum of first-to-market, and it should not be John Q. Public who decides
> issues of fundamental web architectures.

So, you are saying that document authors should not be consulted and no
notice should be taken of what people want from the Web; instead, what is good
for them should be given as a fait acompli and they can take it or leave it?

I find it hard to believe that you are putting forward this line of reasoning.
What will you do if document authors decide to 'leave it'?

This seems a pretty radical departure from the HTML 2.0 philosophy, which
rounded up all the things that were being both implemented and used by
the HTML authoring community and produced a DTD that represented current

This is, after all, an Internet standardisation process. It is open to all
interested parties. Rough concensus and working code, remember? HTML 2.0
represented a lovingly collected concensus.

> suffice it to say: let's just BITE THE BULLET
> and do style sheets and keep HTML from becoming RTF or Postscript. I'm
> already starting to play with Arena's implementation - both myself *and* the
> design folks around here are getting starry-eyed at the potential.

Brian, I hear you saying that stylesheets are great and have a lot of
potential. I agree. I suspect Lou does too.

But I don't see the problem with the existing stylistic hints that HTML 3.0
provides (?used to provide?).

For example, people at our site have been putting in centered headings with
the Netscape specific <center> tag. I have been explaining to them, with
some success, that if they do it the HTML 3.0 way like this:

<h1 align="center">

It is more portable, works with other browsers (including Netscape), etc.

What am I supposed to tell them now? "If you want centered headings you must
wait 6 months to a year beccause you must do it with style sheets and they
are real experimental and there are six or seven different proposals on
how to do them and nobody knows how it will turn out".

Do you see people taking out the existing centering in their headings and
dutifully waiting? Nope, neither do I.

There did seem to be some rough concensus, where did it go?

Chris Lilley
| Technical Author, Manchester and North HPC Training & Education Centre  |
| Computer Graphics Unit,        |     Email:      |
| Manchester Computing Centre,   |     Voice: +44 61 275 6045             |
| Oxford Road,                   |       Fax: +44 61 275 6040             |
| Manchester, UK.  M13 9PL       |      X400: /I=c /S=lilley              |
|                 /O=manchester-computing-centre /PRMD=UK.AC /ADMD= /C=GB/|
|<A HREF="">my page</A> | 
|This is supposed to be data transfer, not artificial intelligence. M VanH|