Mike Meyer (mwm@contessa.phone.net)
Fri, 22 Dec 1995 12:57:42 PST

> > How should browsers that aren't doing presentation in a 2d media treat
> > PAGE?
> Generally, as a request for user action before continuing the normal
> display progression. Tell me what other sorts of media you have in mind and
> we'll discuss specific cases.

Well, the canonical example is as spoken text. If it's a browser of
some kind, stopping is pretty simple - you need to do that in any case
at various points in the document. However, if all you are doing is
rendering the document to make it easier to deal with - for instance,
my browser has a menu entry that renders the current document as
spoken text - then stopping for user input isn't practical.

> I must differ most emphatically, sir. As electronic publishing grows more
> important, nobody who does dual-mode is going to avoid noticing how wasteful
> it is to maintain multiple markups of the same material. There will be
> pressure for dual-mode support and it will evolve; the only question is
> wether it will be a graceful, standardized set of features or a bunch of
> ugly ad-hoc kluges. I would prefer the former and will press for it.

Exactly right. Describing the formatting instead of describing the
content leads to ugly, ad-hoc kluges that are suitable for one
presentation media, and require multiple markups of the same material
to maintain versions for different purposes. Which is why I think this
formatting issue should be pushed out to a style sheet and the markup
that describes the contents.

> You may be right. But there is still a question about how to get this
> behavior in the absence of an explicit style sheet.

By pushing the appropriate vendors to provide an explicit style sheet
mechanism, of course. No different than pushing vendors to provide an
explicit tag in the absence of that tag.