Re: WWWWW Notes

Jonathan Abbey (
Fri, 13 Aug 93 11:34:53 CDT

Tony Sanders <> writes:
> The trick is to allow device independent presentation while still providing
> the most common semantics. HTML/HTML+ is ultimatly a presentation language
> and there is no way around it. If you cannot convert most DTD's to
> HTML/HTML+ then we are back to square one because it is *impossible* to
> include semantics for everything under the sun.
> Will we ever be free of the SGML "presentation is evil, evil I say" party
> line? If you want anyone to be able to read your SGML then you have to
> have some presentation somewhere. HTML/HTML+ is a compromise between
> allowing as much semantic content as possible -- while still having a
> finite DTD -- but still allowing a wide variety of data to be encoded
> for (here is that evil word again) presentation.
> HTML/HTML+ is presentation with semantics, keep saying that over and over.

Agreed, highly.

> On the other hand maybe you know something I don't. If you can write a
> DTD that does everything that everyone needs without using any presentation
> then get in contact with Dave Raggett <> and see what
> you two can work out. Oh, BTW, most of the actuall presentation
> is in what we are calling a "Style Guide" that is external to the
> HTML/HTML+ document and provides hints to the browser about how to
> render the document (so you can use the authors style guide, or your
> own personal favorite).

What might be really nice would be if the style sheets themselves could be
formalized in some fashion, so that a document could consist of a semantic
component (HTML, HTML+) and a presentation component (HTPL?) which would
indicate how each (named? semantic?) region should be presented.

A WYSIWYGBNWOMG (8-) editor could generate the two components. If different
HTPL's could be defined for different presentation domains (textual,
textual/graphical,audio/verbal, virtual reality), documents could become very
very very flexible, without losing the ability for authors to have control
over the presentation of their baby. nteresting new things could be done if
these HTPL's could be referenced in a standard way by a document LINK, or by
an attached annotation.

Any discussion as to how HTML+ would have to be modified to allow this kind of
thing? It seems that as long as you have named containers that you could do
quite useful (and specific) things with this without losing generality.

> When we talk about presentation in HTML+ we are mostly talking about tables
> and external graphical image layout (e.g., gif's). Someone should make
> a list of the presentation like elements in HTML+.
> --sanders

One test of the viability of a HTML+/HTPL solution would be if it would
allow you to be flexible in controlling where an image would go in a page
relative to text. NCSA Mosaic is rather frustrating in this regard
currently.. it would be nice to be able to center an image on a line,
for instance, or to have text wrap around an image..