Re: Proposed List Markup and few other things...

Keith Rettig (
Tue, 1 Aug 1995 15:55:06 -0400

We wanted to make a few comments regarding the proposed markup for
"simplifying," as well as "expanding," lists in HTML 3.0 and how that
relates to our initial proposed markup for outlines.

The outline proposal from Chris Tilbury satisfies all our needs for outline
markup. However, the proposal from Michael J. Hannah regarding a rework of
list markup also addresses these needs and more. We additionaly feel it is
a substantial improvement over existing list markup, despite the resulting
deprecations. Our first response was "Wow!".

Relatively speaking, HTML is still in its infancy and in the long run fewer
key words which provide greater flexibility will probably help ensure its
success. In addition, fewer and more flexible key words will make it
easier to keep HTML clean, consistent, and usable, e.g. we are less likely
to end up with inconsistencies like the use of <TR> and <TD> to indicate
rows and elements in a <TABLE> and <ROW> and <ELEMENT> to represent rows
and elements in an <ARRAY>. (BTW why the distinction between <TABLE> and
<ARRAY> anyway? Can't the context MATH be used to imply the semantics of
the element? At a minimum, <AR> and <AD> would seem better than <ROW> and

With regards to deprecation, and other concerns about preserving existing
markup. Several people have requested macro extensions to HTML. Such an
extension in either a head element or in style sheets would address the
deprecation issue. If "standard" grep/awk like regexp were used for the
term to be matched and the term to be substituted, most deprecated tags
could be handled with minimal implementation effort on the part of document
authors or browser developers. For example, <DEFINE MATCH="(/){0,1}UL"
SUBST="%1LIST"> replaces <UL> with <LIST> and </UL> with </LIST>.

In conclusion, we would like most of all to express our support of Michael
Hannah's proposal for a reworking of the <LIST> markup for HTML 3.0.

Simon Blackwell (
Keith Rettig (

Keith Rettig
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