Re: Frames & WWW

Gavin Nicol (
Wed, 16 Nov 1994 10:28:53 -0500

In-reply-to: <> (
Subject: Re: Frames & WWW
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>|>A decent UI should be capable of attaining this level of abstraction.
>|>Anyhow, HTML is no kind of markup language to write a book in. It's
>|>optimized for short pages and small, simple structures.
>Nope, that is not what the idea is. The optimisation is towards hyperlinked
>segments of information. The small part comes in only as a style issue.

How does one define a "chapter" in HTML? A Section? Unless one can
work in the abstractions of the *author* one is missing the boat

>|>No, this is nonsense in terms of HTML. SGML is perfectly capable of
>|>supporting adequate structural containers, but these were not included in
>|>the HTML spec.
>SGML is alledgedly quite capable of doing everything. The problem is that the
>designers did not try an implementation of many features before they piled
>them into the spec. Test implementations are frowned upon in ISO because the
>firm that builds one has a head start on the others.

Bollocks. Most people avoid the grottier features of SGML and everyone
recognises that this is the correct thing to do. I don't think anyone
frowns on DYnaText, or the other SGML systems available, and *none* of
these support the full language. In fact, if you want an easily
parseable SGML subset that retains 98% of the usefule features of
SGML, I suggest reading the TEI spec (which you obviously have not
done yet).

>Actually if you read the ISO stylesheet draft spec it starts off essentially
>defining the sort of tree structure I propose. It has to be built at a logical
>level somewhere in the parse module in any case.

The tree structure you describe is not your invention. Every man and
his dog in document processing has seen this. This is *inherent* in
any information system. DSSSL starts with this because it recognises
explicitly the tree, and also recognises the value of tree
transformations in document processing. I should note that DSSSL-Lite
is now being developed with the specific aim of being used for WWW and
that the tree transofmration stuff was left off because it was thought
"too difficult".

>|>This would be a great idea were there only some real containers to be used.
>We come not to serve SGML, but to destroy it.

Ha ha ha. SGML *is* coming. Be afraid :-)