strategy for HTML spec?

Dan Connolly (
Mon, 11 Jan 93 19:18:56 CST

Save for newline handling and Latin 1 characters, I feel
that most of the technical issues in the HTML spec have
been ironed out.

But the documentation in the web is far from up to date.
My spec isn't sufficient to replace the HTML stuff in the
web, so it gets tacked on through links. Meanwhile, many
of the examples and explanations are in conflict with the DTD.

And we're not getting any closer to a hardcopy or plain text
version of the spec.

I started editing Tim's latest work on the HTML spec, but
it's not clear how my edits will get into the web. I don't
want them just tacked on: they're corrections to stuff that's
not right! But without groupware support, it's slow going.
Hmm... we need a better strategy.

[begin bitching and moaning...]

Also, I am frustrated that noone else seems willing to look
closely at SGML at all. The SGMLs parser makes it easy to
try stuff out, and comp.text.sgml is a great place to learn
a lot of stuff, but none of the other implementors have
bothered to try them out.

For example, Tim asked if I could put LINK into the DTD.
I wasn't familiar with the motivation for the element at
the time, and I'm still not sure how it works exactly:
how many of them are allowed, for example?

If he would take the time to construct a couple example
documents using LINK (and make the necessary modifications
to the DTD), I'm sure things would be much clearer.

Another example: the newlines issue. It's easy to edit
a couple example files, run them through sgmls, and see
where the parser eats newlines and where it reports them
to the application.

And none of the data providers has grabbed SGMLs to check
their output, as far as I can tell.

I have put a lot of my free time into investigating HTML
and its relationship to SGML, and I have done my best
to report my findings, but I'm getting frustrated by
the lack of initiative from anyone else. Other folks
are willing to hack out implementations, but they're
not willing to check them against the SGML standard,
it seems. If nobody else is serious about SGML conformance,
I will find other ways to spend my free time. But I
think SGML conformance is critical to the the quality
of the WWW project.

[end bitching and moaning]