Re: Structure vs. appearance in HTML

Joe English (
Thu, 21 Sep 1995 12:01:09 -0700

Stavros Macrakis <> wrote:

> I agree that structure is important, but only if you can do something
> with it. So far, I am not aware of any Web tools that actually DO
> anything useful/interesting/amusing with HTML structure. (Well, OK,
> some not-very-well-known browsers do do holophrasting.)
> For that matter, HTML doesn't really _have_ that much usable
> structure.

True, but it's got enough to do a *few* useful things:

* Build a table of contents from <Hn>eadings
* Spell-check the document, but skip stuff inside
<CODE>, <SAMP>, <KBD>, <VAR>, and <PRE>
* Build a "graph" of all the hypertext links in a collection
of documents, listing the anchor text of each link
* Automatically convert it to Braille
* Build a full-text search index for a collection of documents
* Build a keywords-based search index, giving higher weight
to keywords, emphasized phrases, and stuff in headings

And let's not forget:

* Render it on just about any output device, with reasonably
good results.

This last is something that few other text markup languages
have been able to accomplish.

--Joe English