Re: Revised Beginner's Guide to HTML available for perusal

Kenneth Chang (
Tue, 19 Apr 94 17:14:40 CDT

>At 10:11 PM 4/19/94 +0000, Kenneth Chang wrote:
>>A revised version of NCSA's "A Beginner's Guide to HTML" is available at
>>Comments, criticisms, typo corrections welcome.
>Looks good, a definite improvement. What about the table of contents?
This will be added to the final version. (I've been running this through
my MIF->HTML filter, which ain't perfect yet and I'll twiddle a couple of
lines to generate the TOC...)

>more importantly, this list has been doing a lot of talk regarding the
>future of HTML, and perhaps the time to implement these future changes
>should be now, in the HTML Primer.
>Like mentioning the <HTML><HEAD>....</HEAD><BODY>......</BODY></HTML> tags,
>and their importance for the future.
>Many html document creators get their feet wet using the HTML Primer as a
>guideline (I know I did). I'd like to see more direction from the Primer
>about "proper" HTML markup so as to avoid having to go and change
>everything to conform with HTML+, or proper HTML for that matter.
>Is this possible? Can Dan Connolly or other front runners in the HTML
>scene lend a hand?

I just wanted to emphasize that this is A Beginner's Guide to HTML,
and not The Complete Reference to HTML. :)

The intended audience is someone sitting in front of a text processor
who is utterly oblivious to SGML and who just wants to churn out some HTML.
And as a result, I use a somewhat less stringent definition of conformance than
probably someone like Dan Connolly would prefer: namely, that
conformance is "something that almost all browsers can grok and
are likely to be able to continue grokking in the future" rather than
something that makes it through sgmls.

At a length of 14 pages (printed), this guide is already too long for
documenting a supposedly "lightweight" format. I left
out discussions of <HTML>, <HEAD>, and <BODY> because they really aren't
needed for simple documents and would take a couple of pages to explain
them properly.

I'll probably add a paragraph under "For more information" that says something
like "Everything in this guide works, but is not exactly grammatically
precise HTML. Sort of like Cockney."