Re: Toward Closure on HTML

Daniel W. Connolly (
Thu, 07 Apr 1994 10:20:38 -0500

In message <>, Bryan Oakley writes:
>There have been good points made all around, but by the end I forgot what
>the original poster had to say. After reading all these messages I became
>somewhat confused about the present future (ahem) of HTML/HTML+. I had
>been under the impression that Dave Raggets HTML+ was to become the next
>great thing, and that the preliminary official draft (I'm striving for
>ambiguosity here...) is imminent. If that is not the case, shouldn't it
>be? It appears that he has put a huge amount of work into it and, from
>what I can gather, has a working DTD to boot. What more can we ask of a

With all due respect to Mr. Ragett and his efforts...

HTML+, as I see it, lacks the following:
* Support from CERN (they write that HTML+ will _not_ replace HTML)
* Support from NCSA (they have implemented some features, but
not the bulk of them)
* Widespread use, which follows from a lack of...
* An available implementation

As a spec, it's also somewhat more prescriptive ("here's how we should
do it...") than descriptive ("here's what folks do that's useful...").

The DTD is also apparently not an exact description of HTML+. An HTML+
implementation is supposed to be able to do more tag inference than a
standard SGML parser. I have yet to see a formal description of the
exact set of inferences required of an HTML+ implementation.

>Does the question now need to be asked "So, where exactly are we"? Is
>Raggets HTML+ the next standard or is the gist of this thread we need to
>back up to square one and standardize on what we got?

The majority reaction seems to favor standardizing on what we got.

> I say, let HTML be
>the defacto but work as quickly as possible to solidify HTML+.

Too many folks aren't happy with a defacto standard. They want
something published.

> Muck and
>mire are starting to form as too many people want to go too many


>Isn't all this just remarkable? I've been following this newsgroup for
>perhaps nine months or so and been facinated to watch the web grow
>unmercifully. Everyone should be applauded for what has happened up to
>this point, but beware the 'design by committee', which this mailing list
>is trying to become (as opposed to 'design by community', which is how I
>view the process to this point)

I don't see the distinction. I have made my ideas widely available.
There is no committee. Whatever happens at this point is a product of
sheer momentum.